‘For the love of God do something’: Father of Cole Harbour's Rehtaeh Parsons speaks out

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Glen Canning, right, and daughter Rehtaeh Parsons

COLE HARBOUR - An anguished cri de coeur from a grieving father demands justice for the teenaged daughter he says was “disappointed to death.”

In a blistering, moving blog post, Glen Canning honours 17-year-old Rehtaeh Parsons’ compassion and courage and then lays blame for her suicide following an alleged gang rape and then harassment about the attack by schoolmates.

“My daughter wasn’t bullied to death, she was disappointed to death,” writes Canning under the heading “To the Justice Minister of Nova Scotia.” “Disappointed in people she thought she could trust, her school, and the police.”

Rehtaeh took her own life last week after two years of relentless persecution, sparked by the viral distribution of a photo taken during the alleged rape.

Her mother’s Facebook plea for change and awareness catapulted the story onto front pages and TV screens everywhere, making Nova Scotia a world-wide top trend on Twitter and earning the Ocean Playground the nickname of “Canada’s Steubenville.”

Canning’s blog post lambastes police and school officials for not prosecuting the alleged rapists or containing the bullies.

“Why was this treated like a minor incident of bullying rather than a rape?” he writes. “Numerous people were emailed that photo. The police have that information (or at least they told us they did).”

The story has caught the attention of the hacker group Anonymous, which claims to have identified at least two of the alleged assailants. A release directed at Justice Minister Ross Landry says the names will be protected, “until it is apparent you have no intention of providing justice to Retaeh’s family.”

Parsons’ mother, Leah, said she doesn’t want anyone taking vigilante action against the teens.

“ I just think some people need to realize what their actions are on other people,” she said.

The RCMP in Halifax later issued a warning saying any vigilante action wouldn’t be tolerated.

“We are discouraging anyone from taking the law into their own hands, or in any way encouraging vigilante justice,” spokesman Cpl. Scott MacRae said in a statement.

Landry has said he’s asked senior officials to “provide options” for a review of Rehtaeh’s case.


Organizations: Justice Minister of Nova Scotia, RCMP

Geographic location: Nova Scotia, Canada

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Recent comments

  • The time is now
    April 11, 2013 - 11:27

    The time has come to hold People, both teens and adults responsible for their actions. Our laws have resorted to giving criminals too many breaks, only to become repeat offenders. Let's start protecting the law abiding citizens, and not the law breaking crininals. The times and rules of society have changed, and it's time for the laws to reflect the change. The slaps on the wrist the accused receive, (if any) are a JOKE! And who's the ones laughing?...They are! Wake up people! This is just getting worse, and happening more and more, and will continue to as long as we treat young adults as infants that dont know any better...HELLO...they do know better! Only the victums are the ones being punished! Enough is enough, we need to teach teens that there are consequences for their actions in this world we live in. I dont know why the schools are not making/enforcing better policies to handle/protect their students. It seems like the teens are running the show, and no one is standing up to them. Like I said, It's all a big joke!! If adults acted that way in the workplace, it would defintily not be tolerated, and you would be fired! So why is it tolerated with little or no actions taken in the schools? How many of you want these young adults growing up in your community, and eventually working in the same work place one day? Let's start protecting the victums, and not the accused. If this keeps up, the police will have more to deal with when people get so fed up and start taking things into their own hands!

  • anon
    April 11, 2013 - 10:56

    what we need is our own provincial police force and kick these lazy feds out of the province imo

  • duncan macpherson
    April 11, 2013 - 08:15

    they are kids i don,t plan to get a bunch up an go after these kid,s BUT no RCMP or COP is going to tell me how i should deal with this.THIS is not a commuest country,i hope not,as long as i can speak,i,ll say what ever WHAT is the law scared they will be found how they handled this case???