04.07.2016 07:34 AM

Rehtaeh Parsons’ Dad

Three years ago, Rehtaeh Parsons ended her life.  Her story is now ubiquitous, but the things we needed to learn about, the things we needed to change? Well, those things aren’t ubiquitous at all.

Three years ago, I wrote about Rehtaeh Parsons – a lot, to the point where what I wrote on this web site was apparently referred to the RCMP.  What happened to her – she was gang-raped, and the proceedings were later disseminated on the Internet – was beyond words, to me.  It was evil, it was sick, it was the worst of the worst.

People like to hope that some good sometimes comes out bad, but I don’t really think that happened in Rehtaeh Parsons’ case.  Sure, the NDP government’s pathetic response to the case accelerated their removal from power.  Sure, a Nova Scotia cyberbullying law was passed.  Sure, people became more aware of the issue.

But a judge later summarily tossed out the cyberbullying law, and the women-hating trolls got back to work on their basement computers.  The Nova Scotia NDP are gone, but no government has done much since then – for instance, check out this federal web page about cyberbullying, which references provincial laws, and then hyperlinks to a page that is “not found.”

Out of all that rank mismanagement and villainy, however, emerged one hero: Rehtaeh Parsons’ Dad, Glen Canning.

I got to know Glen, a bit, as a consequence of my limited involvement in what happened after his daughter’s death.  I got to know that he is driven, he is courageous, and he is a force of nature.  He is a great man.  I can personally attest to all of that, too: without getting into a lot of detail, I can say that he helped me out on issue involving one of my own kids.

Anyway, read what he has written, so passionately, here.  And then, when you are done, ask yourself: what have I done to ensure that what happened to Rehtaeh Parsons never happens again?



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    lori says:

    Thanks Warren, one of biggest fears i have for youth today and really most people, is how unaware they are of the reach of social media, and the long term consequences. There’s also looking out for each other, for our friends and our friends kids too. I see my 13 year old nieces on social media, liking and interacting with sites, one time i made my spouse alert his brother (my french not at level for me to explain)about the concerns i had. soon i will be corralling my nieces and giving them tips i know their parents won’t. I raised a son whom i drilled into his brain about watching out for friends and stepping in after reports of a gang rape in abbotsford of a young woman, same age as him. i said if you can’t intervene safely, make sure you call police, and do your best. Some people think boys won’t be victims, but now we have stories of pedo’s pretending to be young women to get naked pics, and then blackmailing young men. I wish more parents would have practical conversations about alcohol, knowing limits, buddy system, and social media awareness. While our daughters should not have to worry about being raped at a party, we can give them the tools to make them safer. We need to accept that there are disgusting idiots out there who do not care about taking advantage of a drunk peer, and by having these frank conversations with our teens, maybe we can protect them.

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    Bob Yuhasz says:

    Thank you so much Warren, for sharing the piece by Glen Canning. You’re right, what an incredible man! The strength and courage and I’ll bet underlying that, a deep and complete love for his daughter, that motives him to do what he is doing is inspiring. I hope he reaches and inspires a lot of men to look at themselves and learn what it means to be a real man. I will try to do that to.

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