Fry Private Member’s Bill Targets Cyberbullying

The CBC reports that Liberal MP Hedy Fry has introduced a Private Member's bill targeted cyberbullying.  Bill C-355 is accessible here.


  1. Darren Wall says:

    Private members bills have virtually no chance of passage, so the point is moot; but the language of the bill is worryingly broad:

    “(3) Every one who, without lawful excuse and with intent to harass any person, makes or causes to be made repeated telephone calls or sends repeated electronic messages to that person is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction.”

    Can I get spammers & telemarketers arrested for cyberbullying?

  2. existing legislation
    Michael Geist said in the CBC article that in most cases existing legislation can already handle internet issues without new legislation.

    If currently
    1)the Criminal Code “makes harassment, libel and spreading false messages criminal offences” and
    2)although not explicitly, the wording in the code already covers electronic messaging

    then why introduce a private members bill? Is this mostly a political move? Is there any harm in introducing such a bill? Katie Neu is quoted as saying that “Fry’s bill will make victims “feel there is something they can do and it’s not their fault.”” If there is no harm otherwise in introducing a bill like this, then why not to make people feel safer and more comfortable?

  3. Private man’s bill
    Hedy Fry, Liberal MP for Vancouver Centre, spoke at a news conference in Ottawa Thursday about her cyberbullying bill, which had its first reading Wednesday.

    Currently, the code makes harassment, libel and spreading false messages criminal offences.

    However, “it isn’t explicit that it applies to electronic messaging,” Liberal MP Hedy Fry told Thursday, following a news conference in Ottawa.

    The day before, Fry had introduced a private member’s bill to specify that harassment, libel and spreading false messages by electronic means are also criminal offences.

    Fry said that clarification is important because the internet is now the biggest mode of communication that people have. At her news conference, she cited a 2009 University of Toronto survey of more than 2000 students that found 50 per cent had been bullied online.

    “If you put something out in cyberspace about somebody, not just the kids in the schoolyard know — the people in Germany will know, for crying out loud,” she said in an interview. “And what is bad is, it’s never erased, it can stay there forever.”

    Bill will provide tool to identify bullies: MP

    She added that the internet often allows bullies to remain anonymous.

    “In the United States, in 48 states, these states have access to internet service providers and they can get information from them and we can’t do that.”

    Her bill will not automatically make the identity of internet users available, she said.

    “But it will give a tool to prosecutors, it will give a tool to judges if they believe it is necessary to get this information.”

    When asked if she knew of any cases where someone had bullied another person electronically and had not been charged due to a lack of clarity in the bill, Fry cited the case of a young teenager in Ontario who was shunned after her friend circulated a rumour online that she had SARS.



    Real Estate

  4. travis, you just repeated what was already in the cbc article that michael linked to.

  5. Teenage Heady says:

    I sure that there are sick cyber bullies inciting cross burnings in her riding as we speak 😉

    BTW, I’d luv to know what an “indecent electronic message” is.

    I’m sure that this bill if enacted would strike real terror into the hearts of teenage cyber bullies – NOT. Under our current criminal system, they can escape adult consequences even for actual first degree murder of their own family. Hedy’s bill is a total waste of time.

  6. sticks n stones n regular nice people
    ya know you bully people and you dont make friends.
    ya bully you get banned
    most places have policies that state
    we dont need a law about it cause all it accomplishes is a sneaky way to eliminate anonimity where people often feel safer in SPEAKING htere mind on hot topics that govt dont like.

    If your at a place that doesnt have such policies then you get what you are there for…abuse.

    It’s like buying a ticket to see a boxing match and then professing to hate all that violence.

  7. Only thing I have to say is: (ie the case)