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'It gets better,' Conservative MPs tell gay teens

Ottawa city councillor Allan Hubley poses with his son Jamie in this family photo released on Monday Oct. 17, 2011.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Handout/THE CANADIAN PRESS/Handout

Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird says there's no place in schools for the bullying that drove a gay Ottawa teen to take his own life.

Speaking in the House of Commons on Thursday, Mr. Baird offered his condolences to the family of Jamie Hubley.

The 15-year-old youth killed himself last week after months of suicidal musings on his blog and social-media websites such as Twitter and Tumblr.

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His funeral was held Thursday.

"I know I would speak for all members of the House to offer our sincere condolences to the family of Jamie Hubley," Mr. Baird said.

"Bullying, homophobia, intolerance and incivility have no place in our schools. It underlies the real challenge of depression and mental health, especially among young people.

"Let us resolve, as a society, to promote tolerance and acceptance of each and every one of our fellow citizens."

Meanwhile, Conservative MPs and staffers posted a video on YouTube in honour of the teen.

In it, they tell kids "it gets better" — a reference to the It Gets Better campaign to help young people facing harassment.

MPs including Mr. Baird, Public Safety Minister Vic Toews and Public Works Minister Rona Ambrose also urge teens to help other young people who need help.

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Jamie's father, Ottawa city councillor Allan Hubley, says bullying was part of the reason his son took his life.

Mr. Hubley says the family knew of several occasions when his son was treated cruelly because he preferred figure skating to hockey.

Jamie recently tried to start a Rainbow Club at his high school to promote acceptance of others, his father said.

"The posters were torn down and he was called vicious names in the hallways and online," the councillor said in a statement.

The elder Hubley says his son struggled with depression and was receiving care from doctors and counsellors.

Mr. Baird represents an Ottawa riding next to the one Mr. Hubley lived in.

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Earlier this month, members of Parliament debated mental health issues after the Liberals called for a national suicide-prevention strategy.

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