Education Minister Nancy Allan refused to comment today on a federal cabinet minister’s criticism of Manitoba’s anti-bullying bill while announcing supports to parents to combat school bullying at a Winnipeg school.
However, Allan did say that the province would be ready for any legal challenge to Bill 18.
Asked what she thought of Public Safety Minister Vic Toews’ remarks earlier this week that Bill 18 violates religious freedom under the Canadian Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms, Allan said: "I don’t have any comment on that today."
Asked about a potential legal challenge to the bill, she said: "Obviously we have legal drafts people looking at our legislation and we will be prepared for whatever comes our way."
Allan held a news conference at Pinkham Community School on Pacific Avenue to announce that the province would provide new "parent friendly" brochures and fact sheets on school bullying, plug a government anti-bullying website, and renew $116,000 in funding to Safe Schools Manitoba.
"We need to provide a voice for parents. Parents want to know that their students are in a safe and caring environment. And if they have a problem they need to have a place to go," Allan said. "They need to know what bullying looks like. We need to ensure that they have the resources. We need to ensure that they have a place to go to resolve these issues."