Archive for ◊ October, 2009 ◊

• Friday, October 09th, 2009

Tuesday, October 13th marks what could be the last visit of the internationally acclaimed, award winning Banff Festival of Mountain Film.   This event is co-hosted by the Wolverine Nordic Mountain Society and the Tumbler Ridge Arts Council.  At one point Tumbler Ridge had the distinction of being the smallest community in the world to host these films (it is possible that we still are).  This year the number of attendees must be up in order to see this film festival continue to be a yearly high light for the town.

By attending the film festival tour in Tumbler Ridge, you are not only supporting a local initiative but you are supporting an “understanding and appreciation of the natural world through creative expression of mountain experiences. This festival creates opportunities for dialogue and leadership on environmental and issues.”*

So, I encourage everyone to come out and support this evening of exciting entertainment proudly hosted by WNMS and TR Arts Council.

* From the Banff Centre website

• Saturday, October 03rd, 2009

When I walked into the morning session at the BC Crime Prevention Symposium in Surrey, I didn’t expect what I heard to have such a huge impact on me.  I was shocked at some of the statistics and horrified at what is going on in our BC communities.

Internet Child Exploitation is a much bigger issue than I ever imagined.  It is estimated that approximately 50,000 kids are currently being exploited on the interent.  There are well over 1 million exploitative photos and  videos  currently online.

During the morning session I attended, the presenter showed a map of BC that was covered in tiny red squares.  The presenter said that  these squares represented the locations of IP addresses that have been flagged as downloading child pornography.  I was shocked at the number of squares that were on this map.

Next the presenter pointed his mouse at one of the squares and clicked on it…the square opened up and a web of red squares presented themselves, covering the map.  The presenter said that each one of the squares represented not one, but many IP addresses within that area.

Peer to peer sharing programs such as Limewire and Nutella are huge transfer agents for child exploitation materials.

I was happy to see that these “invisible criminals” are being watched and monitored.  I was horrified to see the sheer volume of individuals involved in child exploitation activities.

For more information on fighting child exploitation, check out

KINSA, incorporated as the Kids’ Internet Safety Association in 2005 and now known as the Kids’ Internet Safety Alliance, was established as an aggressive and proactive response to the negative aspects of the Internet that harm young people. While addressing this grave social problem, KINSA also acknowledges and celebrates the positive, creative and inspiring ways children and youth are using the Internet.

KINSA’s unique expertise in law enforcement, prosecution, business and technology ensures our ability to achieve necessary results with government, industry and other partners. KINSA’s advocacy efforts as well as their training, research, and awareness initiatives will result in an increasingly effective and collaborative response to the abhorrent behaviour of those who prey on young people online.

• Saturday, October 03rd, 2009

The last two weeks have been extremely busy.  I spent part of my time in Vancouver attending the BC Crime Prevention Symposium.  This year the conference was arranged differently than in the past focusing youth issues, seniors issues and gang related issues.   What I would like to talk about here is internet safety and child exploitation.

Today, children are meeting a variety of needs online, including having fun, developing and maintaining friendships, seeking privacy, and exploring new interests.  I am going to list just a few of the risks that your child’s internet experiences may pose.

Exposure to sexually explicit material

Never before have children had such easy access to sexually explicit material.  Children are not developmentally ready to handle viewing of such content.  Monitoring websites that your child is viewing and internet blocks are just two methods of protecting your child from this material.  Also ensure that your search engine is set to filter results of searches.

Public nature of the internet

Children often underestimate the public nature of the internet.  The often engge in private conversations and share private information, unaware of the lasting consequences of sharing this information.

Building relationships online

A portion of most children’s social world has moved online.  The Internet is often used as a tool to form peer groups.  Boundaries within relationships are often tested online, and lines are much more readily crossed.  Communications online should be carefully monitored by the parent to prevent situations that your child is unable to handle.

Threats and coersion

Individuals seeking to exploit children may use threats that could result in the child sending an image (clothed or naked) of her/himself to this person.  Talk to your child about the use of threats and that if they are ever threatened online to speak to a trusted adult.

Lack of boundaries

Individuals looking to victimize children online will build a relationship and turn the conversations sexual, asking personal questions.

The above risks are ones that the parent can monitor and teach their child about, but what about those cases where the risk has become the reality.  What happens then?

I will talk a bit about this in my next post.  If you want more information regarding interent safety for your family, please visit the Canadian Centre for Child Protection website at

Until next time….be good to each other.