Former governor general Michaëlle Jean says that her heart is with the parents of Nova Scotia teen Rehtaeh Parsons, who was removed from life support April 7 after attempting suicide three days before.
Parsons was allegedly raped by four teens who then posted images of the alleged assault on the internet.
“I’m a mom myself, and I am very disturbed to hear every time that a young person has taken his or her life because of such situations. I find it very difficult to accept,” Jean said April 10.
In Ottawa to receive a Day of Pink anti-bullying award from youth diversity initiative Jer’s Vision, Jean said she recognizes that instances of suicide are greater within the queer community.
“I can relate to that pain, to that suffering. I think we should all be there to say very clear and loud that this is not acceptable,” she said.
“I have been rejected sometimes just for the colour of my skin or maybe my accent or me as a woman. No matter what the reason taken is, we should combat [these] situations.”
Receiving an award from Jer’s Vision “speaks to some very important values about choices that we make,” she said. “It’s about responsibility – to act, to say something, to react.”
Additional honorees at the Jer’s Vision’s Day of Pink Gala included Olympic gold medallist Mark Tewksbury and CBC host Jian Ghomeshi.