Minister appointed to coordinate government response to death of Rehtaeh Parsons

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HALIFAX - Premier Darrell Dexter, today, April 11, asked Marilyn More, Minister responsible for the Advisory Council on the Status of Women, to co-ordinate Nova Scotia's response to the tragic events that led to the death of Rehtaeh Parsons.

"The past few days have shocked, horrified and saddened all of us," said Dexter. "I want the Parsons family to know that they have my support. They are in my thoughts and prayers. I, along with thousands of Nova Scotians and Canadians, stand behind them at this difficult time."

The province asked Halifax Regional School Board to review its response to the case. Justice Minister Ross Landry has also asked senior officials for options to review how police and the Public Prosecution Service handled the case.

"Government is prepared to look at everything to ensure that no family has to go through this same tragedy," said Dexter. "It is time to look for answers and it is a time that we as parents, government, and society, do all we can to ensure this tragic situation does not repeat itself."

More will be supported by Lynn Hartwell, associate deputy minister of the Department of Community Services. Hartwell will work with senior officials across government and provincial leaders in mental health, sexual assault, policing and education to identify options for system-wide improvements.

"Nova Scotia will learn from this terrible tragedy," said More. "Right now, it is a time to care and be kind to one another. Nova Scotians have pulled together in tragic times in the past, and they are doing so now.

"We will honour Rehtaeh's life by supporting each other more effectively in the future. Government is committing to a better co-ordinated system of supports and services."

"I want to thank Nova Scotians for supporting Rehtaeh's family, for respecting their privacy and their wish to not fight bullying with bullying," said Dexter. "They are in our hearts and minds as we build a plan forward and help each other through this."

Nova Scotians who are experiencing traumatic events are encouraged to access mental health services as quickly as possible. People can access emergency mental health services by calling the mental health crisis line at 1-888-429-8167. Staff will be able to offer some help on the phone and can direct people to the emergency room and let the hospital know they are coming. They can also direct people to the emergency services they need in their community, if they do not need the ER.

People can also access services by calling 211, 811, or by visiting an emergency room or family doctor.

Organizations: Advisory Council on the Status of Women, Halifax Regional School Board, Public Prosecution Service Community Services

Geographic location: Nova Scotians, Nova Scotia

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Recent comments

  • noodle
    April 12, 2013 - 13:30

    Seriously, is there anything Dexter can do right? Waiting almost a week to do something about the shoddy handling of this tragic event by his peons is a slap in the face to victims everywhere. Not to mention a complete public relations fiasco. This isn't an isolated story among a handful of voters - it's gone international and his slack, halfhearted reaction along with the failure of his ministers of Justice and Education to take any sort of decisive action has portrayed the whole province in a very unfavorable light to the world. How is this going to impact tourism? Are people going to want to come to a place that appears to be filled with a bunch of slack-jawed hillbillies who let their young women get raped and do nothing about it? I'm not sure who he's got in his public relations and communications departments but the whole works of them have failed him terribly. I guess he's got nobody to blame but the person who hired them....

    • big red
      April 14, 2013 - 18:05

      Well yes Noodle there is something that Dexter can do right, he can call an election or he and his minister of justice can resign. Now seeing that either is about as realistic as snow in August I guess that we the voters will just have to suffer until this dog and pony show is over, learn from our mistakes, and vow never to make them again-capiche?

  • Won't Vote For Them
    April 12, 2013 - 12:42

    The biggest message in this announcement is for Justice Minister Landry. He isn't in charge & that task has been left to a junior minister. Perhaps the voters of Pictou Centre will give him a more resounding message whenever Mr. Dexter has the guts to call an election. Come to think of it, perhaps Pictou County can rid itself of our 3 muskateers at the same time.

  • wayne
    April 12, 2013 - 12:10

    johnny i dont agree with everything you write but this time you hit the nail right on the head

  • Senior
    April 12, 2013 - 11:37

    Thank you Johnny Smoke you took the words right out of my mouth

  • johnny smoke
    April 12, 2013 - 08:16

    Oh great our beloved premier has appointed one of his inmates to find out why the other inmates did not do their jobs when called upon. I can tell you right now, that forgiveness all around is in the offing, the politicians were just too busy running around handing out money in anticipation of an election , the crown prosecutors were just too busy spiffing up their resume for the next job review for which convictions and fine revenue is at the top of the list. As far as the cops were concerned well the scene of this crime was no where near a donut or coffee shop, therefore it did not meet the criteria for immediate action.