N.S. implementing recommendations to improve cyberbullying laws



SaltWire Network



The Nova Scotia government says it is accepting all recommendations made stemming from a review of the province’s cyberbullying laws. A review of the province’s Intimate Images and Cyber-protection Act, which was launched earlier this year, resulted in 12 recommendations to improve the province’s laws meant to protect people being harmed online. Recommendations resulting from the review include improving victims’ legal, mental health and crisis options and creating a centralized, trauma-informed referral process for victims needing advice and support. It was also recommended that the province improve training for Cyberscan staff, who help victims understand their options and navigate the justice system. The provincial Department of Justice said it will develop a plan to implement each recommendation. “We have a responsibility to keep people safe online, so it was important to review the legislation to make sure that it continues to remain effective and responsive to the needs of victims and their families,” said Justice Minister Brad Johns. “The feedback we received has been valuable in helping us see where we can improve our services and supports.” The review of the act, which is required in the legislation, began with public consultations in January and February. The province said more than 460 people participated in the consultations, which included 11 small group sessions, eight individual meetings and an online public survey. The province’s Intimate Images and Cyber-protection Act was enacted in July 2018, replacing the Cyber-safety Act, the country’s first cyberbullying act, passed in 2013.