Nova Scotia is bringing in regulatory definitions for bullying that will be first in Canada to include bystanders as having a role in bullying behaviour.

The government's definition of bullying and cyberbullying is part of a response to a task force report on the issue which recommended a consistent definition of the terms be developed for the education system.

Bullying is defined in the rules as "behaviour, typically repeated, that is intended to cause or should be known to cause fear, intimidation, humiliation, distress or other harm to another person's body, feelings, self-esteem, reputation or property."

The definition says bullying can be direct or indirect, and includes assisting or encouraging the behaviour in any way.

The province says consistent reporting will provide better data to help determine appropriate responses and program needs.