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Even non-violent bullying should be a crime, Canadians tell poll

1 Mar

Feb 29, 2012 – 5:13 PM ET
| Last Updated: Feb 29, 2012 5:45 PM ET

Peter J. Thompson/National Post

Peter J. Thompson/National Post

Bullying victim Mitchell Wilson, from Pickering, Ont., killed himself on Labour Day 2011.

A majority of Canadians believe bullying should be considered a crime, according to the findings of an Angus Reid poll released Wednesday, Pink Shirt Day.

The poll revealed 65% of respondents believe bullying should be regarded as a criminal activity, even if no physical violence is involved.

Respondents in Quebec and the Atlantic provinces are more likely to identify bullying as a criminal act, with support reaching 78%. B.C. has the lowest level of support among all provinces, at 55%.

About 20% of Canadians believe bullying should be deemed a crime only when there is physical violence, while 6% believe bullying is not a crime.


The vast majority of Canadians — 90% — were in favour of a cyber-bullying law similar to one proposed in the United States that would make it a crime to bully someone online.

According to the anti-bullying Pink Shirt Day campaign website, a child is bullied in Canada every seven seconds.

Pink Shirt Day is a nationwide campaign in which young people don pink shirts to send an anti-bullying message.

It began in September 2007 at a high school in Cambridge, N.S., when a Grade 9 student was bullied by Grade 12 students because he wore a pink shirt.

The Angus Reid poll was conducted online Feb. 14 and 15. It involved 1,006 respondents and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1% 19 times out of 20.

Vancouver Province

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