2012 - The province’s Education Act was amended to strengthen schools’ abilities to deal with cyberbullying.
2014 - The Ministry published a fact sheet for parents about how technology will be implemented in the learning process.
Ongoing - The Ontario Ministry of Education licensed Media Awareness Network’s digital literacy tutorials Passport to the Internet for all publicly funded schools, has a list of resources about cyberbullying and a fact sheet for parents about online safety and sexting.
Canadian Centre for Child Protection
This charitable organization is dedicated to the personal safety of all children and provides a number of programs that aim to keep children safe online including, Cybertip, Kids in the Know, and MissingKids.ca.
The Canadian e-Learning Network aims to provide leadership that champions student success in online and blended learning.
Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario
IPC acts independently of government to uphold and promote open government and the protection of personal privacy in Ontario.
This Canadian-based non profit develops digital and media literacy programs and resources for Canadian homes, schools and communities to support adults with information and tools so they can help children and teens develop the critical thinking skills they need for interacting with the media they love.
Ontario Ministry of Education
The Ministry is responsible for all publicly funded primary and secondary education across the province. It aims to promote an education system with high levels of student achievement and increased public confidence in publicly funded education, among other goals.
Public Safety Canada
Public Safety Canada is a government agency that offers resources and contacts for reporting cyber security incidents including cybercrime and child exploitation.
TVO, Ontario’s public educational media organization, is supported by Ontario’s Ministry of Education and offers resources on Internet Safety for parents and children are available on the TVO Web site, including videos and articles.
The association of exposure to suicide-related Internet content and emergency department visits in children: A population-based time series analysis (2017)Naveen Poonai, Shruti Mehrota, Muhammad Mamdani, Anastasia Patmanidis, Michael Miller, Javeed Sukhera, Quynh Doan
After the release of Amanda Todd’s suicide video, this study wanted to consider whether this had an impact among Ontario children and the frequency in which they went to the ED for suicide-related reasons. Overall, they found that suicide-related content on the Internet is not associated with the increase in ED visits for suicidal behavior.
The impact of different types of parental support behaviours on child physical activity, healthy eating, and screen time: a cross-sectional study (2016)Evelyn Pyper, Daniel Harrington, Heather Manson
This study considers how parents support behaviors influence the likeliness that children are able to meet their daily guidelines for physical activity, fruit and vegetable consumption and of recreational screen time. The study finds that improving parental support behaviors could be influential in reducing excess whit in children.
Frequent Use of Social Networking Sites Is Associated with Poor Psychological Functioning Among Children and Adolescents (2015)Hugues Sampasa-Kanyinga, Rosamund F Lewis
This studies the relationship between the use of social networking sites and mental health of adolescents of middle and high school children in Ottawa. They found that students with poorer mental health may be using social networking sites more.
Correlates of objectively measured sedentary time and self-reported screen time in Canadian children (2015)Allana G LeBlanc, Stephanie T Broyles, Jean-Philippe Chaput, Geneviève Leduc, Charles Boyer, Michael M Borghese, Mark S Tremblay
This paper considers the correlation between total sedentary time and self-reported screen time. They found that there were few commonalities to correlate to both sedentary and screen time, indicating that there is not a single strategy to reduce both.
Associations between Cyberbullying and School Bullying Victimization and Suicidal Ideation, Plans and Attempts among Canadian Schoolchildren (2014)Hugues Sampasa-Kanyinga, Paul Roumeliotus, Hao Xu
The purpose of this study is to consider the negative effects that cyberbullying and school bullying has on suicide in middle and high schoolers.
Examining the effectiveness of technology use in classrooms: A tertiary meta-analysis (2014)Karin Archer, Robert Savage, Sukhbinder Sanghera-Sidhu, Eileen Wood, Alexandra Gottardo, Victoria Chen
The increased usage of technology in the classroom and of ICT learning has yielded inconsistent results as to its impact. This meta-analysis reconsiders three previous meta-analyses and overall finds that certain implementation factors, such as training and support, affect the relative effectiveness of ICT interventions.
Body Mass Index of First Nations youth in Ontario, Canada: influence of sleep and screen time (2013)Michelle Gates, Rhona Hanning, Ian D. Martin, Allison Gates, Leonard JS Tsuji
This paper considers the decrease in sleep time and physical activity and rise of screen time in relation to the body mass index of First Nations youth.
The Canadian Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines for the Early Years (zero to four years of age) and screen time among children from Kingston, Ontario (2013)Valerie Carson, Mark S Trembley, John C Spence, Brian W Timmons, Ian Jassen
It seeks to assess how many children are meeting the new Canadian Sedentary Behavior Guidelines in Kingston, Ontario, and what parents are doing in regards to decreasing screen time.
Using technology to deliver mental health services to children and youth in Ontario (2013)Katherine M. Boydell, Michael Hodgins, Antonio Pignatiello, Helen Edwards, John Teshima, David Willis
This paper considers how technology is being currently used and how it can be improved to digitally service children and teenagers with mental health services.
“Just Being Mean to Somebody Isn’t a Police Matter”: Police Perspectives on Policing Cyberbullying (2013)Ryan Broll, Laura Huey
This study looks at the way police and school resource officers in Canada patrol bullying and whether new laws are necessary.
Office-Based Randomized Controlled Trial to Reduce Screen Time in Preschool Children (2012)Catherine S. Birken, Jonathon Maguire, Magda Mekky, Cedric Manlhiot, Carolyn E. Beck, Julie DeGroot, Sheila Jacobson, Michael Peer, Carolyn Taylor, Brian W. McCrindle, Patricia C. Parkin
The study tried to stage an intervention for parents and children to see if this could reduce the amount of screen time, meals in front of the television, and BMI.
Screen-related Sedentary Behaviors: Children's and Parents' Attitudes, Motivations, and Practices (2010)Meizi He, Leonard Piché, Charlene Beynon, Stewart Harris
This study considers the attitudes, social influences, and intentions of school-aged children and their parents in regards to screen-related sedentary behavior. Entertainment, spending time with family, and boredom were the top three reasons for television viewing and video game playing.
Relationship between screen time and metabolic syndrome in adolescents (2008)Amy E Mark, Ian Janssen
This study was to consider the relationship between screen time and the metabolic syndrome of adolescents, and found that screen time was associated with a higher likelihood of metabolic syndrome, suggesting that public health intervention for youth should include ways to reduce screen time.
Television viewing, computer use and total screen time in Canadian youth (2006)Amy E Mark, William F Boyce, Ian Janssen
The study seeks to determine the percentage of Canadian youth meeting the screen time recommendation of only 2 hours per a day. They found that fewer than 20% of Canadian youths were meeting this guideline, indicating that there needs to be more public health intervention to reduce the amount of leisure time youths spend on the computer or in front of the television.
Internet Safety in Southern Ontario Schools (2005)J. Barnett
This article reports on a survey conducted with preservice teachers about their perceptions of Internet safety in schools in southern Ontario.
How Adolescents Use Technology for Health Information: Implications for Health Professionals from Focus Group Studies (2003)Harvey Skinner, Sherry Biscope, Blake Poland, Eudice Goldberg
This study seeks to improve how adolescents receive information about their health needs, and how technology can be used to make this easier.
This section contains details of the province’s laws as they relate to sexual offenses, children and the use of the Internet in the commission of criminal activity. Where possible, sentence details have been given, including whether an increased custodial penalty is imposed where the victim is a child.
Legislation relating to criminal law is controlled at a federal level in Canada. All laws detailed in the Legislation section of the Canadian Federal government page would apply within Ontario.
In 2004, the Government of Ontario launched a series of initiatives as part of its Provincial Strategy to Protect Children From Crimes on the Internet. These included introducing CYBERCOPS software for Grade 7 and Grade 8 students in Ontario schools, which helps cyber-proof children against cyber-stalking, Internet luring, ID theft and cyber-bullying. In addition, support materials, including an Internet luring training package for police and Crown attorneys, were developed through the Attorney General’s Task Force on Internet Crimes Against Kids. It also called on the federal government to amend the Criminal Code to abolish conditional sentences for child pornography crimes. (When Federal Bill C-2 was passed, and came into force in November, 2005, it created minimum sentences for sexual offenses involving children, which had the effect of making conditional sentences unavailable.) Finally, it provided $500,000 to the Kids’ Internet Safety Alliance (KINSA), a group dedicated to eliminating the online sexual exploitation of children.
In 2006, the Government of Ontario announced a further, comprehensive, five-part, multi-million dollar strategy to combat Internet child pornography and luring. The CDN$5-million strategy included a dedicated child-victim tip line and referral service, set up through the established Crime Stoppers program, to support victims and prevent re-victimization. It would also fund an online undercover team of municipal police officers to conduct on-line child-luring investigations to identify suspects and victims, and prevent further victimization. Another initiative funded by the strategy was the provision of dedicated support for child victims and families to offer emotional support, referral to appropriate community services and practical assistance. For more information, click here.
At the end of July 2014, the Ontario Provincial Police’s Child Sexual Exploitation Unit launched Send This Instead: an app designed to help teens respond to requests for explicit pictures. The app contains images which can be sent in response, as well as safety tips and advice to those affected by sexting. Resources are available on the project’s website, to be used as a teaching resource for schools and community groups. In addition, the app contains reporting links for suspected illegal content. The app’s launch has been accompanied by some videos promoting it.