Media Release - Public incitement of hatred law: OSSTF calls for protection of women

    TORONTO, April 16 /CNW/ - The Ontario Secondary School Teachers'
Federation (OSSTF) is part of a coalition that has been working to curb the
effects of media violence on children and adolescents. On January 17, the
coalition of trustees, principals, teachers, students, parents, and police
made a public appeal to the Federal Minister of Justice to amend the Criminal
Code public incitement of hatred laws to conform to Section 15 of the Charter
of Rights and Freedoms, thereby granting protection to girls and women.
    On Thursday, April 19, 2007, Liberal MP Borys Wrzesnewskyj (Etobicoke
Centre) will re-introduce a motion in the House of Commons requesting all
party support for Bill C-254, his Private Member's Bill that adds gender to
the identifiable groups protected under the Criminal Code law on public
incitement of hatred. Currently, the law protects those groups identified by
colour, race, religion, ethnic origin and sexual orientation.
    In commenting on Bill C-254, Ken Coran, president of OSSTF said, "As an
active member of the media violence coalition and as educators, we understand
that prevention is key to stopping the effects of media violence but we also
believe that leaving women out of the current law on public incitement of
hatred is just plain wrong."
    Adding, "OSSTF is proud to add its name to the long list of individuals
and organizations that have been calling for this change. We believe that
leaving women and girls off the list compromises their safety and this
amendment is long overdue.
    While Legislation should not be perceived as a perfect solution, the
proposed change to the Criminal Code does send a strong message that as a
society we will no longer tolerate this failure to protect all our citizens,"
he concluded.

    OSSTF/FEESO, founded in 1919, has 60,000 members across Ontario. They
include public high school teachers, occasional teachers, educational
assistants, continuing education teachers and instructors, psychologists,
secretaries, speech-language pathologists, social workers, plant support
personnel, attendance counsellors, and many others in education.

For further information:

For further information: Ken Coran, President, Ontario Secondary School
Teachers' Federation, (416) 751-8300 or 1-800-267-7867

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