02/14/2014 05:22 EST | Updated 04/16/2014 05:59 EDT

Mr. MacKay, Can You Protect Us From the Budget Bullies?

Dear Mr. MacKay:

First of all, I want to thank you for introducing legislation to curtail on-line bullying. Bill C-13, the Protecting Canadians From Online Crime Act, will be, I'm sure, an important weapon in the battle to defeat so-called cyberbullying. But it's only one step in the overall fight against bullies.

I'm writing to urge you to adopt a national anti-bullying policy to curtail not only online bullying but also the physical and emotional bullying that goes on in schoolyards, workplaces and legislatures throughout Canada. We need the federal government to take a strong stance on this issue in order to halt the bullies in their tracks.

As a recent victim of bullying, I know the heartache and pain that it can cause. My friends and I have been repeatedly victimized by several bullies who persist in their harmful behaviour with seeming impunity.

At this stage, we are, of course, dealing with unproven allegations so I will ensure the bullies' anonymity by not fully identifying them. For the purposes of this discussion, I will simply refer to them as Tony C., Jim F. and Stephen H.

Let me explain. I was a federal public servant for almost 30 years and, during my employment tenure, I often experienced what I call legislative, regulatory and public bullying by my employer, namely various members of the government of the day. In particular, I recall one Brian M. who repeatedly demeaned and denigrated my colleagues and me and even passed legislation forcing us back to work after a successful strike.

Over the years, I and others experienced additional incidents of workplace bullying. We were repeatedly told that we were overpaid, under-worked and lucky to have a job.

Despite the ongoing attacks including wage freezes, job cuts and personal slights, I hung on for as long as I could and finally retired four years ago. I assumed that once I left the public service, the bullies would leave me alone. After all, I no longer work for the government and I figured they'd forget about me as a target.

It turns out that my assumption was naive. I've since learned that bullies like to prey on the weak and defenceless and these guys are no exception.

When I was hired many years ago, I understood that I would have the advantage of certain provisions negotiated between the unions and the government. But now these guys Tony C., Jim F. and Stephen H. have changed the rules and they're going to effectively start demanding my lunch money every day even though I no longer go to school.

In particular, they're going to take away almost an extra $600 from me every year to pay for my extended healthcare coverage. They're supposed to negotiate such things with the unions but they passed a law which lets them do just about anything they want.

I'd like to think there's some kind of anti-bullying program in place to stop these bullies from picking on government employees and retired pensioners. But, as far as I know, no such program exists.

I know, Mr. MacKay, that you have been a strong advocate for just such a program and that is why I'm writing you in hopes that you can step in and stop these three from causing further harm. Is there a group or organization or caucus, say, that you could refer this matter to and come up with a mechanism for stopping these bullies?

I'd really appreciate any help you could provide as I'm now even scared to go to my mailbox for fear of what the next letter from the government might bring. Some of my fellow victims are afraid these bullies are going to get meaner and meaner and de-index our pensions or even cut them back. Some are even saying they're going to take away our mailboxes but I can't believe they'd be that cruel.

Hoping to hear from you soon, I remain

Yours truly,

Dave Martin

P. S. Just to be safe, maybe send me an e-mail rather than a letter.


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