2nd Session, 41st Parliament,
Volume 149, Issue 45
Thursday, March 27, 2014
The Honourable Noël A. Kinsella, Speaker
Bullying Ends Here
The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, I would like to draw your attention to the presence in the Governor General’s gallery of Mr. Tad Milmine, a police officer and anti-bullying advocate who also runs the website bullyingendshere.ca, and Mr. Austin Bender, who started a gay-straight alliance at Springbank Community High School in Calgary, Alberta.On behalf of all honourable senators, we welcome you to the Senate of Canada.
Some Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!
Hon. Mobina S. B. Jaffer: Honourable senators, today I rise to recognize an outstanding police officer named Tad Milmine. Tad’s work as a police officer is commendable, but it is his work outside of the force as an anti-bullying advocate that I would like to recognize today.
Inspired by the tragic story of Jamie Hubley, Tad began to volunteer his time to speak to students and created a website called bullyingendshere.ca. On his website, youth can connect directly with Tad to look for support, advice or even just friendship.
When I first met Tad in Vancouver, he told me a story about a young boy who grew up in a broken home. His parents were divorced, his father was an alcoholic, and his stepmother was abusive, confining him to the basement. The only relief that this young boy had was to cry uncontrollably. Whenever he went through any stress, his body’s reaction was to cry. The crying followed him to school.
As an extremely introverted young man, standing up for himself was difficult. Words like “cry baby” or “suck” were repeated over and over by a cruel few, causing the young boy to burst into tears in public. At some point, the bulling went beyond the point of being called names and became physical.
On top of this, the young boy was coming to terms with his sexuality, but out of fear for further abuse he did not tell a soul that he was gay. The abuse continued right up until the young boy turned 17 when he ran away from home to start a new life for himself.
This is Tad’s life story. It is a story he tells thousands of young boys and girls across Canada through his anti-bullying advocacy campaign called Bullying Ends Here. Tad encourages these young students to look beyond their differences and to create an environment where everyone feels accepted. He also gives them hope for the future, assuring them that difficulties can be overcome and anyone can achieve their dreams, just as he achieved his lifelong dream of becoming a police officer.
Honourable senators, Tad has become an inspiration for thousands of young people. His presentation gives people like Austin Bender, a 16-year-old student from Springbank Community High School in Calgary, the confidence and encouragement to start a gay-straight alliance in his school. Austin is here today with Tad. Austin’s initiative has made Springbank Community High School a safer and more welcoming environment for everyone.
Since starting his program, Tad has received thousands of emails, many are from victims of bullying, thanking him for encouraging them to seek help. Some are from self-professed bullies who vow never to treat their peers poorly. Others are from parents thanking him for saving their child’s life.
Honourable senators, I know you will join me in commending Tad Melmine and Austin Bender for making an enormous difference in the lives of our children. Thank you very much.
Some Hon. Senators: Hear, hear.