Marjorie Raymond was lost.

For her, the only way out was suicide.

That is not only exceptionally sad, but it never had to come to that.

This poor girl was tormented by bullies for years and yet no one stepped in.

The signs were there. Why didn't anyone see them or take them seriously?

In my view, this is a zero tolerance issue. Zero tolerance in action, not just on paper.

No child should ever have to be subjected to the taunts of bullies.

It's the responsibility of teachers, of principals and of parents, and anyone who sees it taking place.

The parents of bullies should be held responsible for the actions of their children.

We must encourage children who are bullied to speak up and know that it will be handled quickly.

No child should live in fear.

The severest sanctions -- including expulsion, not just suspension from school -- must be available for those who intimidate and cause so much agony.

We must not be afraid of going too far to destroy this pestilence. Social media such as Facebook also have a role to play in tackling the bullies.

The job is indeed a challenging one.

Making our schools bully free will not be easy.

But we must make sure that no means no, and the consequences for both bullies and their parents should be severe. Intimidation is criminal.

It takes courage and the will to do the right thing, Talk is not enough.

Marjorie was indeed lost. Her cries for help were not heeded.

Everyone needs to do better.


Montreal's Budget

The mayor of Montreal admitted this week that no one likes to pay higher taxes but he thinks his budget is a reasonable one.

Reasonable? In some parts of the city, property taxes are up by more than 5 percent.

Every year, especially since the merger/demerger debacle, we are paying more and more and getting less in return.

There are too many bureaucrats, too many boroughs, too many burgermeisters.

And guess what? Despite all the talk and promises, the number of City of Montreal employees actually rose in 2011. So much for promises to keep.