During our last Council meeting, we had a discussion regarding adopting an anti-bullying bylaw. The RCMP presented to Council a couple of meetings ago the need for an anti-bullying bylaw based on recent incidents in Town. Here are some highlights from the draft bylaw:
· The purpose of this bylaw is to promote the safety, health, and wealth of the residents of Kindersley by proscribing certain anti-social behaviour not otherwise covered by the OH&S Act 1996 or the Criminal Code of Canada.
WHEREAS, pursuant to Section 4(1) of The Municipalities Act as amended, a municipality’s purpose include developing and maintaining a safe and viable community, and to foster economic, social and environmental well-being; and WHEREAS, pursuant to Section 8(1) of The Municipalities Act as amended, a Council may pass Bylaws respecting the safety, health and welfare of people and the protection of people and property and respecting people, activities and things in or near public places; and WHEREAS, the one of the three stated missions on the Town of Kindersley Strategic Plan 2014-2016, is to foster a community that is A Family Friendly Multicultural Community That is Safe; and WHEREAS, bullying in any community should not be tolerated and every effort should be made between all agencies, organizations, and levels of government to curb bullying;
"Bullied" means the repeated or habitual harassment of others by the real or threatened infliction of physical violence and attacks, racially, ethnic, gender or sexual orientation-based abuse, taunts, name-calling and put-downs that are verbal, written or electronically transmitted, or emotional abuse, extortion or stealing of money and possessions and social out-casting and exclusion.
I can’t help but think that bullying is a cultural problem and a bylaw, in and of itself, is insufficient. What the bylaw does, perhaps, is raise our awareness that there is a level of unhealthiness present in our community that is causing some people to violate traditional ethics of behaviour toward one another. The bylaw identifies behaviour that will be deemed unacceptable within our community, but it is up to all citizens to change the culture by embracing these standards.
Healthy communities with healthy relationships need opportunities for individuals to find fulfillment through a variety of means. The Town is working on this through the development of a socio-economic development plan that includes an economic development plan, a recreation plan, and a culture plan. We are making an effort to strengthen and enhance programming offered, such as boxing classes and Jump, Hop, Move for young children. And the health of Kindersley is also dependent on the leadership of our volunteers who initiate and lead programs and workshops such as belly dancing, curling, and much more. Health and fulfillment is truly a community effort.
Please write or phone if you would like me to discuss a particular topic. If you have any questions or comments, drop me a line at the town office or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also check out my blog at http://mayorjohn.blogspot.ca/. I appreciate your feedback.