Chisholm to table bill in response to Rehtaeh Parsons case

OTTAWA – The tragic case of Rehtaeh Parsons, whose death sent shock waves across the country earlier this year, brought to light a serious gap in Canada’s Criminal Code. In response to this, NDP MP Robert Chisholm (Dartmouth—Cole Harbour) plans to table a private member’s bill to address this legislative need.

“As we mourn the loss of this bright young woman, it is important that as a society we reflect on the best way forward from this tragedy in order to prevent others,” said Chisholm. “One thing we can do is to provide legal consequences for the non-consensual distribution of intimate images.”

In April, NDP Leader Tom Mulcair, NDP Justice Critic Francoise Boivin and Chisholm met with the Parsons family and the Nova Scotia justice minister to discuss what could be done to support those facing situations similar to Rehtaeh’s, who committed suicide after explicit images of an alleged sexual attack were circulated around her high school.

“In this case, the photos being distributed did not compel clear action on the part of law enforcement,” said Boivin. “We need to ensure that there are legal tools available to intervene when this sort of malicious behaviour is being perpetrated.”