Rona Ambrose showed Tuesday that she feels a personal connection to the fight against cyberbullying.
Ambrose, minister for the status of women and minister of public works, struggled to compose herself at an Ottawa high school during a funding announcement for an online campaign to promote healthy relationships among Canadian teenagers.
Citing a rise in the incidence of violence in youth relationships – including cyberbullying, harassment and abuse – Ambrose announced a new project in partnership with the Canadian Red Cross and Respect Group Inc. to create an online educational workshop to raise awareness about relationship violence.
In a scrum after her announcement, she denied her party's current advertising campaign attacking the background of Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau is the same as cyberbullying. It's a much different situation, she said, because that campaign is directed at an adult, not young people.
"We're dealing with very serious consequences related to sexual assault, intimate sexual violence between intimate partners and sometimes of course very difficult consequences like suicide," she said. "This kind of program is incredibly, incredibly necessary."
"I've met a lot of people that have been impacted by this," she told reporters, fighting back tears. "We've worked very hard to make this happen."