New Nova Scotia anti-cyberbullying law tabled after old law struck down

Nova Scotia's Liberal government has introduced a replacement for the province's pioneering anti-cyberbullying legislation, but with a narrower definition of cyberbullying.

The original Cyber-safety Act, the first of its kind in Canada, was struck down in late 2015 after the Nova Scotia Supreme Court ruled that it infringed on Charter rights.

Justice Minister Mark Furey says the proposed new act is meant to deal with cyberbullying and the distribution of images without consent.

Furey says the Intimate Images and Cyber-protection Act would now cover communication that causes or is likely to cause harm to someone's health or well being and would hold people responsible if they maliciously intend to cause harm, or are reckless about the risk of their actions.
   
The new act would allow a victim or parents to go to court to obtain a protective order to take down a web page or to prohibit an alleged offender from further contact with the victim.

Victims would also be able to seek dispute resolution through the province's CyberSCAN unit and would be able to seek an order for financial compensation for damages.

The act gives the CyberSCAN unit, which was created by the previous law, authority to support and help victims through the process for getting online images or posts removed, although it now won't be able to take a victim's case to court on their behalf as it did previously.

Furey says the government's plan is to pass the legislation next spring.