Media violence delegation meets with Ontario Attorney General Chris Bentley

The Free Radical
July 22, 2009

On July 21, 2009, a delegation, spearheaded by the Ontario Public School Boards’ Association (OPSBA), met with Ontario Attorney General Chris Bentley to inform him about the work of the OPSBA Violence in the Media Coalition.

The delegation included Rick Johnson, Liberal MPP for Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock (a past president of OPSBA), Rhonda Kimberley-Young, Secretary-Treasurer, Ontario Teachers’ Federation, Gail Anderson, Executive Director, OPSBA, Jeff Sprang, OPSBA Communications, and Valerie Smith, an anti-violence activist specializing in media violence (and operator of this web site).

The purpose of the meeting was twofold.

(1) The OPSBA Violence in the Media Coalition (VMC) hopes to enlist the support of the Ontario government in raising awareness about the potential harmful effects of media violence.

(2) Attorney General Bentley was asked to champion a change to the Criminal Code that would see Canada’s hate propaganda laws amended to extend protection to girls and women, this being one of the VMC’s legislative priorities. He was asked to both write to the federal Justice Minister requesting this change, and, more importantly, to take this issue to meetings of the provincial and territorial Justice Ministers to enlist their support for the amendment.

The Criminal Code is federal, but it is routine for provincial and territorial Justice Ministers to pressure the federal government to make amendments to the Code and/or create new legislation, so Attorney General Bentley is ideally placed to move this important issue forward.

Attorney General Bentley promised to research the issues further.

Click here for background notes prepared for Mr. Bentley on the hate propaganda law.

Visit the Hate Propaganda and Bill C-254 sections on this web site for more information on the exclusion of girls and women from the hate propaganda law.

For additional information on the participants:

Rick Johnson, MPP, Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock

Ontario Public School Boards' Association

Ontario Teachers' Federation

Meeting with Attorney General Chris Bentley