Hon. Jane Cordy:
Honourable senators, I rise today in recognition of Pink Shirt Day, February 27, when Canadians across the country and many here in Parliament wear pink shirts to work and school to create awareness about the impact of bullying.
A little more than 10 years ago, in Berwick, Nova Scotia, the duo of David Shepherd and Travis Price came together in support of a ninth-grade student teased and bullied for wearing a pink shirt to school. Wanting to take a stand against bullying, David and Travis bought 50 pink shirts and handed them out at school for all the boys to wear. Honourable senators, the pink shirt became a symbol against bullying. Now Canadians across the country wear pink shirts on February 27 to support anti-bullying efforts.
In this day and age with social media and modern technology, people are vulnerable to bullying 24 hours a day and almost anywhere they go. It is for this reason that the focus of the initiative’s 2019 awareness day is cyberbullying. Bullying in any form can cause serious detriment to a person’s mental well-being. It can destroy confidence and one’s sense of self. The repercussions are numerous, and it can have an impact that lasts a lifetime.
For these reasons, I applaud people like David Shepherd and Travis Price, and indeed anyone, who stands up and takes action against bullying. With their seemingly small act, they have made it easier for people all over Canada to stand together.
Pink Shirt Day, while supporting anti-bullying efforts also makes allies visible. Honourable senators, join me in being an ally. Should you find yourself without something pink in your wardrobe, the Pink Shirt Day initiative encourages you to combat hate online by being kind and saying something nice to someone on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter. The hashtag #PinkItForward can be used to encourage kindness and, by using this hashtag, one dollar will be donated by Coastal Capital in support of bullying prevention programs.
Honourable senators, let us celebrate Pink Shirt Day and stand up to bullying together and let’s #PinkItForward. Thank you.
Some Hon. Senators: Hear, hear.