Pink Shirt Day co-founder seeks Tory nomination
Travis Price seeks nomination in Fairview-Clayton Park
The Nova Scotia co-founder of the anti-bullying campaign known as Pink Shirt Day announced Tuesday he wants to run for the Progressive Conservatives in the next provincial election.
Travis Price, standing with Progressive Conservative Leader Jamie Baillie, said he hopes to be the party's candidate in Fairview-Clayton Park.
Price said he's ready to take his anti-bullying activism to the next level.
"It became really frustrating when I was pushing our NDP government to make a difference, and put in a strong legislation that would protect kids," he said. "When they failed to do so, I didn't want to be somebody that talks a lot, I wanted to be somebody that continues to do things."
Price gained international acclaim in 2007, while he was a Grade 12 student at Central Kings Rural High School in Cambridge. He and his friend, David Shepherd, encouraged students to wear pink shirts as a way to stand up against kids who had bullied a Grade 9 student who had worn a pink polo shirt on his first day of school.
The campaign gained momentum as an anti-bullying drive, prompting the creation of a national anti-bullying day each February.
Price is currently a bullying prevention officer with the Canadian Red Cross.
He called this switch into politics a natural next step. He said his top priority would be to push for tough anti-bullying legislation.
"We've lost too many kids in this province to suicide because of bullying and it's something that we need to see stop."
Price said he chose the PC party because he agrees with proposed legislation from the caucus that he calls tough. He said it holds both parents and their children accountable.
"I feel it's important that we work on this now and not later."
Bullying became a heated political topic earlier this year following the high profile suicide of Rehtaeh Parsons. Her mom claimed she had been raped and bullied for months before her death. The case made international headlines.
In April, the NDP government announced the launch of the first cyberbullying investigative unit in Canada.
But Price said their efforts don't go far enough.
The NDP and Liberals have already nominated candidates in the newly-formed riding of Fairview-Clayton Park. The candidate for the Liberals is high school teacher Patricia Arab and the candidate for the New Democrats is Abad Khan, a communications and development co-ordinator for the YMCA-YWCA.
A date for the next provincial election has not been set, but the NDP is expected to call an election this year.