A group of Conservative MPs, staffers and cabinet ministers have joined the 'It gets better' campaign, urging gay teens to talk to someone if they're being bullied.
The MPs and political staff put together a video as part of a campaign started by columnist Dan Savage in response to a spate of suicides by gay teens. The idea is to inspire teens who feel like they can't make it through high school, or at least to let them know that they aren't alone.
The YouTube video features high-ranking MPs like Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird, Public Safety Minister Vic Toews, Public Works and Government Services Minister Rona Ambrose. It is dedicated to Jamie Hubley, an Ottawa teen who killed himself last weekend. MPs Lois Brown, Candice Hoppner and Shelly Glover are also in the video.
The video was released Thursday, the day of Hubley's funeral. MPs wore purple Thursday to show support for bullied teens.
Brown, who helped organize the MPs for the video, says some of the party's staffers felt like they needed to do something to help. They shot the video as MPs left Conservative caucus and other meetings Wednesday.
"Young people go through enough struggles in their own identity and self-esteem ... with just growing up," she said, adding that people who feel threatened need to seek help.
Brown urged others to help those who need it.
"There are always people who are more fragile than we are and we have a responsibility to befriend any individual who needs that kind of assistance," she said.
Don Meredith, a senator who appears in the video, says he hopes anyone who bullied Hubley is punished.
"Individuals who have caused this should be punished to the nth degree, according to the law, because there’s no way that anyone should feel inadequate or be[made to feel] inadequate," he said.
In 2008, Meredith reportedly told Xtra, a news outlet catering to the gay community, that being gay is a choice. The former pastor says his relations with the community are good.
"I have no ill will towards gays and lesbians. They are people of God, created human beings, that we need to love and appreciate. So those individuals who are still hanging onto some strand of negativity, I have no time for them. This is about being positive," he said, adding bullying is intolerable.