Making Cyberspace Safer

    McGuinty Government Helping Kids Stay Safe Online

    TORONTO, Feb. 13 /CNW/ - Ontario is promoting cyber safety to help kids
avoid online predators.

    The province is working in partnership with youth television network YTV
and the Canadian Centre for Child Protection:

    -   YTV developed a series of animated television announcements with tips
        on Internet safety in partnership with the Ontario Provincial Police.
        The announcements direct viewers to a cyber safety game and more tips
        on YTV's website (

    -   The province is also distributing three guides for the parents of
        children between 8 and 13 years old to help parents understand what
        their children are doing in cyberspace. Developed by the Canadian
        Centre for Child Protection, the guides will be sent home through
        schools across Ontario and are also available online.

    Ontario's strategy to combat Internet child pornography and luring
recognizes that these crimes can be committed anywhere a computer is found.
Everyone, including parents, teachers, media, police, charities and
governments must work together to protect children, stop the offences and
support victims.
    In 2007, police completed 1,353 Internet child pornography and luring
investigations and laid 539 charges.
    "Kids today spend a lot of time online, and we all need to work together
to keep them safe from predators," said Community Safety and Correctional
Services Minister Rick Bartolucci.
    "The partnerships we are fostering bring together education,
investigation and prosecution to help keep our children safe. It's a strategy
that's working."
    "We are teaching kids how to protect themselves online," said Attorney
General Chris Bentley. "Working with progressive organizations like the
Canadian Centre for Child Protection helps parents keep up with the latest
online trends their children are following."

    Disponible en français



                         ONTARIO'S STRATEGY TO COMBAT

    Ontario's provincial strategy to protect children from sexual abuse and
exploitation on the Internet is based on building effective partnerships.
    For the first time, this $5-million strategy has brought together a team
of municipal, regional and Ontario Provincial Police officers, Crown attorneys
and victim service providers.

    The strategy includes:

    -   A dedicated child-victim tip line and referral service available
        24-7, managed in partnership with the Ontario Association of Crime
        Stoppers 1-800-222-TIPS
    -   Specialized teams of police officers to conduct online child-luring
        investigations and attempt to identify victims
    -   Dedicated support for child victims and families to offer emotional
        support, referral to appropriate community services and practical
    -   Training and support for dedicated Crown prosecutors
    -   Increased liaison work with law enforcement agencies and others.

    Widely recognized as a leader, across Canada and around the world, the
team has learned state-of-the-art approaches from experts across the globe in
the fight against Internet child victimization.
    The team works with other jurisdictions when the crimes reach across
borders. It coordinates with national agencies, such as the Canada Border
Services Agency and National Child Exploitation Coordination Centre, to help
stop offenders and support victims.

    Supporting Quotes for Today's Announcement

    The government today announced two partnerships to help keep kids safe

    -   Youth television network, YTV, in partnership with the Ontario
        Provincial Police, is promoting and hosting an online cyber safety

        "YTV is committed to issues that are important and relevant to
        kids," said Frank Duyvelshoff, director of Business Development for
        Corus Interactive. "We are able to communicate important social
        messaging in a way that kids relate to - including the importance of
        online safety - to our audiences through our broadcasts, our websites
        and through initiatives and partnerships of this kind."

    -   The Canadian Centre for Child Protection is producing parents' guides
        to Internet safety that will be distributed to Ontario schools.

        "I'm very pleased that both Toronto parents and parents across
        Ontario are receiving these tips to help keep children safer
        online," said Laurel Broten, MPP for Etobicoke-Lakeshore. "These
        materials offer concrete ideas for discussions that are helpful to
        ensuring the protection of our children."

        "These brochures provide parents with a hands-on tool for
        understanding the risks faced by children on the Internet and provide
        age-specific strategies for reducing their chances of being harmed,"
        said Lianna McDonald, executive director of the Canadian Centre for
        Child Protection. "It's time that we empower parents with relevant
        information for protecting children online."

    Anthony Brown                      Brendan Crawley
    Ministry of Community Safety       Ministry of the Attorney General
    and Correctional Services          416-326-2210

    Disponible en français


    /NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: A photo accompanying this release is available on
    the CNW Photo Network and archived at
    Additional archived images are also available on the CNW Photo Archive
    website at Images are free to accredited
    members of the media/


For further information:

For further information: Laura Blondeau, Ministry of Community Safety
and Correctional Services, Minister Bartolucci's Office, (416) 325-4973, (416)
938-9757 (cell); Anthony Brown, Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional
Services, Communications Branch, (416) 314-7772; Sheamus Murphy, Ministry of
the Attorney General, Minister Bentley's Office, (416) 326-1785; Brendan
Crawley, Ministry of the Attorney General, Communications Branch, (416)

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Ontario Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services

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Ontario Ministry of The Attorney General

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