POLITICS

'Tall geeky guy club' wouldn't have helped him: Manitoba Opposition leader

03/07/2013 07:07 EST | Updated 05/07/2013 05:12 EDT
WINNIPEG - Manitoba's Opposition leader still has concerns about the NDP government's proposed anti-bullying legislation.

Progressive Conservative Brian Pallister says special student groups may not be the answer to stop bullying.

The NDP's Bill 18 contains a section that would require schools to allow clubs such as a gay-straight alliance.

Some schools and community leaders have argued that goes against religious freedom.

Pallister criticizes the bill for being too general on what constitute bullying.

He also points out it is silent on consequences for bullies.

"It defines bullying so broadly, referencing hurt feelings, self-esteem, that even normal interactions could be included in that definition," he said Thursday.

"Assertive behaviours shouldn't be confused with bullying. Pity the teacher who assigns a demanding project or evaluates critically. Feel for the coach or volunteer who puts demands on a young athlete."

He says the Tories will consult extensively on what should be in the bill.

"I'm not sure that a tall geeky-guy club would have helped me much in my school, so I've made it ... pretty clear that I'm concerned that what this bill does may not be effective in helping children get away from bullying."

(CJOB)