Dear Amanda, Happy 18th birthday, honey! I have to say that although each day and year passing that you are gone it has been hard but this year seems to be harder than the others. This year will be more contributions to your legacy that will have impact. This is your graduating year. An event that you talked about and looked forward to since you were in grade school.
I went to Ottawa for the tabling of the new Cyberbullying Bill in the House of Commons on Wednesday. It has been a long time coming, and as parents who have lost our children, it is a necessity. The question that I heard the most from media was this one: Do you think this piece of legislation would have 'saved' Amanda? YES.
We were horrified to find out that taking a photograph of oneself having sex with an unknowing and unconscious person then texting it out to pretty much everyone she knows wasn't a crime in Canada. Seriously, trust me. It isn't. But now, fortunately, it will be. I am very grateful to hear that Justice Minister Peter MacKay and Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney have announced new legislation that will address this disgusting crime that devastated our daughter Rehtaeh. Now, thanks to this new legislation, ignoring these young victims and their families will no longer be an option.
It's hard to believe that it has been a year since Amanda initially posted her video to YouTube. And even stranger to see that with combined views from different sources, that there have been over 28-million views. I continue to receive comments from people all around the world about having seen the video for the very first time. I also keep hearing about the positive impacts it has made on those who have watched it. They felt a connection with the video. They thought about their own lives and decided on a change. All these are good things that have come out of this.
It's now been two weeks since the tragic, allegedly bullying-induced suicide of B.C. teenager Amanda Todd first made headlines around the world, but if the steady output of Canadian editorial pages is any indication, there's still much to say. It's hard to deny the sheer poetic justice in the volume of sympathy and thoughtfulness born from the aftermath of an episode of such overbearing nihilism and cruelty. Not that some haven't gone too far, of course.