Who am I? Good question. You more than likely know me as Rehtaeh Parsons dad. What defined my life a few short years ago is nothing like the days that define me now. I’ve lost a lot, gained a lot, and I’ve grown a lot. Now I think of myself as an activist. I do the things I’ve always loved – photography – but they have a new place in my day.

BIO – Glen Canning is an advocate for victims of sexual assault. He is the father of Rehtaeh Anne Parsons, a Nova Scotia teenager who was sexually assaulted by four males at a home near Halifax in November 2011. Rehtaeh ended her life April 4th, 2013, following months of cyber-abuse and victim blaming. Glen has spoken about Rehtaeh’s case internationally and across Canada. Along with his daughter’s mother, Leah Parsons, he has helped bring about changes to the Criminal Code of Canada. For his work, Glen and Leah, along with Amanda Todd’s mother Carol, received the Rosalind Prober Award for Advocacy in 2013.

Named one of Huffington Post Canada’s Top 50 Contributors.

Experience and Skills

  • Photojournalist
  • Videographer/Television (ENG) Camera Operator
  • Master Diver
  • Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician (HB/HC)
  • Electronic Technician
  • Mental Health First Aid (N.S. Certified)
  • Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) Pilot

Rehtaeh Parsons

I have a page set up that is dedicated to Rehtaeh’s life and her case. You can find it here. You can also read more about Rae at the Rehtaeh Parsons Society website or on her memorial Facebook page.

Rehtaeh’s story has made a lot of necessary and positive changes. Changes to the Criminal Code of Canada were important but not nearly as important as seeing many young people stand up for what is right. We have heard back from many of them and their parents. It helps a great deal to know she has made a difference in the world.

Huffington Post Canada

On the 5th Anniversary of Huffington Post Canada I was named as a Top 50 Contributor for my writing on Rehtaeh, sexual violence, and issues of consent. It’s humbling to be named alongside Prime Minister Trudeau, astronaut Chris Hadfield, musician Drake, photographer and friend Donovan Mahoney, and many others.

About My Site

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21 Comments

  1. we lived in England as an Air Force family, my sister Annabel was born there in 1961 and has had on ongoing issue with her citizenship as the RCAF didn’t register kids born outside of Canada on Canadian bases. the loss of your daughter whom you reference is a pain in my heart which is almost indescribable. Glen, my love and tears are now for you and your family. I hope you look at my FB page, I have a piece of art glass which I will never part with because it contains an angel which I dedicate to Rehtaeh.

  2. Mr. Canning,

    I have been following you for awhile on Facebook, and thought I would comment you directly. I too am a photographer,diver, tech lover, and father of a daughter (was a single parent, she’s 22 now.) Although my daughter is still alive (thank god) she went through a similar trauma and humiliation by evil, manipulating “boys”. Her pain is not over. She suffers anxiety attacks and depression, has few friends, and although brilliant and beautiful, she still believes she is worthless because everybody in this town “knows what she did”. My kid began cutting, drugs, suicide attempts and other self-abuse. She is going to therapy now, but it has only begun.

    Knowing what this did to my daughter I can clearly empathize with what happened to your wonderful kid, and why she did what she did.

    Also not long after these horrific things happened to my girl, two sudden tragic deaths rocked our family (one horribly gruesome). It has been five years and we are still not the same.

    I wish you well; life has not been fair to our girls and I understand how that feels as a father. I am not religious any more, but do believe in evil. We just have to remember that the good still outnumber the bad, and keep living with purpose for those we love.

    Sincerely,

    Vin

    • Thank you for the reply Vin. I hope your daughter can find peace, I know its hard. The good do outnumber the bad. Easily.

      You and your family are in my thoughts. Thank you for your kind words.

      Glen

  3. I Glen,

    I am a journalist in Montreal and we are preparing a documentary on Rehtaeh. Would you accept to grant us an interview? My phone number in Montreal is (514) 771-0270.

    Thank you, Jean

  4. Glen – I heard about your daughter at the time it all happened and like most normal caring people I felt terrible for your daughter and your family. It saddens me that someone would commit such a terrible crime and then post pictures on-line. It saddens me more how young people react – not supportive – gang together to hurt someone more by isolation. As we have seen by other suicides across the country this attitude is not unique to your side of the country. Reading this morning in Matthew Coutts article that you have received death threats and comments from people saying that you and your daughter was responsible for what happened to her outrages me. My comment here is only to reach out in support or your cause.

  5. Would love your help or advice..My son is being bullied. The police are just not helping. Their answer to the solution is keep him in the house. I’m so scared for his life.

    • Hi, where are you located? In Canada? First advice is to save everything – every email, text, threat, etc.

  6. Glen, we’d really like to know the names of the boys who did this to Rehteah. When will the ban on publishing their names be lifted; it’s not fair. Everyone at the school and in your town must already know their names, so someone must be able to leak them to the world.

    Great compassion for what you have endured. I have two boys, aged 8 and 6, and am already figuring out how to make sure they are respectful to girls and women.

    Kind regards, Rosanna

  7. Dear Glen
    I’m one of many good, decent people who are so saddened and feel so outraged over what those boys did to your daughter Rehtaeh and how it led her passing.
    Good for you for keeping her story alive and crusading for change.
    You are a Hero!
    Sincerely Cathie M

  8. Dear Glen,
    Sending an enormous amount of love and support to you, your family and Rehtaeh. Your pain is unfathomable, but hoping that the good you elicit will be far, far greater. Rehtaeh is another symbol for the need to change – another impetus, that I will keep with me, on the path to end violence, hatred and hurt. You are not alone, you have many on your side. Wishing you strength, and some kind of peace. With love, Sian.

  9. Glen,
    I wish I had more than words to offer you. Rehtaeh encourages me to raise my boys to respect everyone, to stand up for and protect the ones that need our help. I call them my Superheros. I hope one day they have your strength.

  10. I am a New York playwright and screenwriter who is profoundly moved by your story. You are one of the wonderful men who has answered the cry that I always shout “Where are the MEN to stand up for the girls and women?” It never ceases to amaze me how cruel humans can be to each other. But out of that cruelty, I have seen great things emerge to counter it: compassion, solidarity, action, friendship, love, change. I am the mother of two daughters and a son, and I am thankful that there are men like you in the world, a beacon of caring, action and support. I can imagine that it is often difficult, but your conviction and commitment is an inspiration and a wonderful example. When I told my 13 year old daughter about Rehtaeh, she took a moment and quietly said, “That makes me so angry.” I told her we have to use that anger to help other girls. I noticed that someone posted a message here asking to interview you for a documentary about Rehtaeh. Was that ever completed? And if so, do you approve of it? If it’s appropriate, I’d like to know how to get a hold of it to arrange a screening at my daughter’s school. She has been a vocal advocate against bullying, especially having gone through it herself. And the many lessons of your daughter’s story can help others. Blessings to you and your family. Rehtaeh continues to shine bright.

  11. Hi Glen, such a horribly sad story about a beautiful young woman with so much living and learning ahead of her.

    I have a 30 year old daughter who was molested as a baby. I drank back then and although I would not go as far as saying I was an unfit mother it would be true to say I was naive and careless. Today all these years later I am 24 years sober and advocate for youth with mental health issues. In the community where I live, which is rural (Prince Edward County, On)there is a huge mix of the usual..teen pregnancies..suicide attempts (and sadly successes)…innapropriate sexual beliefs..addiction and so on.

    If you ever find yourself in this neck of the woods…close to Sandbanks..Support for Youth would love for you to come out and share Rhea’s story.

    Helen.

  12. Hi Glen

    I live in Australia but I just wanted to reach out to you and say how incredibly sad I am for you but how proud I am of you too. To turn such tragedy into change, Rehteah would be incredibly proud of you. Thank you for being a beacon of hope and change for so many. Xx

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