Saskatoon councillor calls for anti-bullying bylaw

Saskatoon will vote on creating an anti-bullying bylaw on Monday.

Police want power to fine people for harassing behaviour

If Councillor Ann Iwanchuk gets her way, bullies in Saskatoon will be soon be fined for their bad behaviour.

On Monday, Saskatoon City Council will vote on drafting an anti-bullying bylaw. 

"We are seeing an increase in bullying, in the schools particularly," said Iwanchuk. 

Last spring, a number of community groups, including the Avenue Community Centre, started circulating a petition, asking that a bylaw be put in place.

The city's police force is also on board. In a letter to council, Police Chief Clive Weighill said a bylaw program would be able to deal with bullying much faster than the courts.

Weighill also noted that any bylaw infraction could force bullies and their parents to attend a hearing, and possibly mediation with victims.

"The police themselves have indicated that they themselves are interested in having a tool to help them with that," said Iwanchuk. "So, I believe it's incumbent upon us as a city council to give them the tool that they need."

Other communities across the country have already enacted their own bylaws, or are looking at the idea. In the town of Hanna, Alberta, bullies can be fined anywhere from $250 to $1000.

Council would still need to vote on the new bylaw if the motion succeeds.

The issue will be discussed at Monday's city council meeting.