Nova Scotia court issues first cyberbullying prevention order

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The Canadian Press

HALIFAX – A Nova Scotia Supreme Court judge has imposed a cyberbullying prevention order on a man who was accused of using Facebook to post threatening and defamatory statements about the chief of a First Nation.

Andrea Paul

The order is the first imposed by a court under the province’s Cyber-safety Act and involves allegations made by Andrea Paul, chief of the Pictou Landing First Nation.

She alleges Christopher George Prosper posted abusive and obscene comments about her and her family on Facebook last year.

Paul says she contacted the province’s CyberSCAN unit, which is the first of its kind in the country to be tasked with investigating complaints of cyberbullying.

Judge Heather Robertson told a Halifax courtroom that she was satisfied this was a case of cyberbullying under the act, saying Prosper’s actions hurt Paul’s reputation and psychological well-being.

The court order is imposed for one year and it says Prosper must remove all messages deemed to be cyberbullying, refrain from contacting Paul and stop cyberbullying.

Prosper was not in court and did not have legal counsel representing him at Tuesday’s hearing.

The unique law was passed after the high-profile death of Rehtaeh Parsons, who was taken off life-support last April after a suicide attempt.

Her family says the 17-year-old was subjected to months of bullying after a digital photo of her allegedly being sexually assaulted in November 2011 was passed around her school.

Organizations: Pictou Landing First Nation, CyberSCAN

Geographic location: Nova Scotia, Halifax

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