Business leaders and politicians in Port Coquitlam, B.C., have launched an ambitious anti-bullying campaign that includes a bylaw empowering police to issue fines to those caught bullying in a public place or online.
In a move reminiscent of the BlockWatch program, the campaign also calls for businesses and community centres to place snowflake decals in their windows — a signal of a safe haven for anyone being bullied.
Staff at participating locations will call police and keep the victim safe.
Carol Todd, whose daughter Amanda Todd committed suicide last month after posting a YouTube video detailing how she was stalked and bullied, says it’s the greatest gift she could have received on what would have been her daughter’s 16th birthday.
Todd, who called her daughter Snowflake, says she is in awe of all that has happened since Amanda's death.
"To think that my little girl could have started this whole wave of caring and kindness and empathy and compassion — I can’t even talk about it … it gives me warm fuzzies all over."
The campaign is called 'Be Someone.'
Gary Mauris, who founded the 'Be Someone' campaign, was inspired by Amanda Todd’s YouTube video, in which she held up cue cards crying out for help.
"And it said, ‘I have nobody. I need someone.’ And I thought, ‘I'm someone,’" Mauris said.
Mayor Greg Moore says Port Coquitlam, where Amanda Todd lived before taking her own life, will be an example for cities across the country.
"It’s emotional — that our community has come together in such a loving and passionate way, to say to our youth … 'We love you, we care for you, and we want the best for you,’" he said.
Moore says bylaw tickets will be ripped up if the bully agrees to take an anti-bullying course.