On the Order: Resuming debate on
the motion of the Honourable Senator Martin, seconded by the
Honourable Senator Neufeld, for the second reading of Bill
C-268, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (minimum sentence
for offences involving trafficking of persons under the age
of eighteen years).
Lillian Eva Dyck: Honourable
senators, I rise today as the critic for Bill C-268, An Act
to amend the Criminal Code (minimum sentence for offences
involving trafficking of persons under the age of eighteen
years), which was introduced as a private member's bill by
the member of Parliament for Kildonan—St. Paul, Joy Smith,
on January 29, 2009.
I would like to commend Mrs. Smith for
her work in trying to combat the trafficking of women and
children and for her work in making this bill a reality.
The bill amends existing provisions of
the Criminal Code and introduces new mandatory minimum
sentencing guidelines for the trafficking of persons under
the age of 18 years, but it does not address sex trafficking
I will briefly review the current
Pursuant to the Criminal Code of
Canada and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, human
trafficking became a Criminal Code offence in November 2005.
The provisions dealing with human trafficking are set out in
sections 279.01 to 279.04 of the Criminal Code.
Section 279.01 deals with trafficking
in persons and prohibits anyone from recruiting,
transporting, transferring, receiving, holding, concealing
or harbouring a person, or exercising control or influence
over the movements of a person for the purpose of exploiting
or facilitating the exploitation of that person, and
provides for a maximum penalty of 14 years to life where it
involves kidnapping, aggravated assault, aggravated sexual
assault or the death of the victim.
Section 279.02 deals with material
benefit and prohibits anyone from receiving a financial or
other material benefit for the purpose of committing or
facilitating the exploitation of that person, with a maximum
penalty of 10 years.
Sections 279.03 and 279.04 deal with
withholding or destroying documents and with exploitation. I
will not go through them today because there is no change in
Under the current Criminal Code, there
exists no distinction on sentencing requirements for
offences committed against victims based on age.
With regard to the Immigration and
Refugee Act, which came into effect in 2002, section 118
states the following:
(1) No person shall knowingly organize
the coming into Canada of one or more persons by means of
abduction, fraud, deception or use or threat of force or
(2) For the purpose of subsection (1),
"organize", with respect to persons, includes their
recruitment or transportation and, after their entry into
Canada, the receipt or harbouring of those persons.
The maximum penalty for this offence
is life imprisonment, a fine of $1 million, or both. The
first-ever charges under section 118 were laid in April
2005, but are currently being challenged for vagueness.
With regard to the description and
analysis of Bill C-268, this bill contains eight clauses,
the majority of them dealing with amending subsections in
order for the substantive changes to be cohesive with the
The substantive changes of Bill C-268
include the following: Clause 1 amends the definition of
"offence" in section 183 of the Criminal Code to include,
under section 279.01(1), the trafficking of a person under
the age of 18 years.
Clause 2 concerns the trafficking of
persons under the age of 18 years and establishes that
offences of human trafficking whereby a person recruits,
transports, transfers, receives, holds, conceals or harbours
a person under the age of 18 years, for the purpose of
exploitation or facilitating exploitation, is liable to the
following sentencing guidelines: Section 279.01(1)(a)
outlines that human trafficking of a minor with the intent
of exploitation, or facilitation of exploitation that is
committed through kidnapping, aggravated assault or
aggravated sexual assault or causes death to, is liable to a
minimum punishment of six years or to a maximum punishment
of life imprisonment.
Section 279.01(1)(b) outlines
that all other offences of human trafficking involving
persons under 18 years of age are punishable by a minimum of
five years, to a maximum of 14 years' imprisonment.
Neither clause 3 nor clause 4 has any
changes with respect to the Criminal Code.
It is worth noting, however, that the
bill as originally presented in the other place did not
contain a clause specifying a mandatory minimum penalty when
the trafficker subjected the child to harsher treatment. The
bill was amended in the other place to include the minimum
six-year sentence when the victim is so treated.
Honourable senators, in July 2009 the
Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs hosted a public forum to raise
awareness about human trafficking and the sexual
exploitation of First Nations women and children in
Grand Chief Ron Evans said:
Both U.S. and Canadian government
reports have shown and demonstrated that Aboriginal and
First Nation women and children are at greater risk of
becoming victims of human trafficking than any other group
in Canada. We make a huge mistake when we turn women and
children into objects for personal gratification. They are
human beings and if we fail in our duty to treat them that
way, it's like we are ripping strips off our own humanity.
Now I would like to go through the
lessons I learned as I attended that conference, starting
with the magnitude of the problem of human trafficking.
The RCMP estimates that 800 to 1,200
people are trafficked in and through Canada every year,
however, many advocacy groups set the number at 15,000. Many
women and children are trafficked from Asia, Eastern Europe
and Latin America for sexual exploitation. This situation
involves persons, primarily women and children, subjected to
exploitation through force and/ or coercion into
prostitution or forced labour. It is important to note that
most women and minors are trafficked for the sex trade.
With regard to Bill C-268, there were
reasons put forward why we need the current legislation. In
other words, what is wrong with the current Criminal Code
and what is weak about the current legislation?
The arguments given to support the
enactment of Bill C-268 are based mainly on two precedents
under the Criminal Code. In both cases, paltry penalties
were applied to two men who trafficked underage girls in the
sex trade. In 2008, a Niagara man was convicted of human
trafficking and received only three years for the offence.
That man made over $350,000 from the sexual exploitation of
a 15-year-old girl.
More recently, a Montreal man was
convicted of human trafficking. He was sentenced to two
years' imprisonment for trafficking a 17-year-old girl and
selling her for sex.
There have been about 30 human
trafficking convictions since 2005 — a very small number
compared to the estimated number of trafficked persons. It
is important to note that virtually no discussion of the
other convictions with respect to this bill has occurred so
far, and I would like to see that happen during the study of
At the conference in Winnipeg, I was
shocked to hear that Canada is a preferred country for
trafficking people, because of our weak laws. I was appalled
to hear that those who know what is happening on the streets
feel helpless to stop this activity. They are helpless on
those streets where men troll for sex, and where the same
johns pick up the same young underage girls over and over.
Now I will talk about the process of
human trafficking, because it is important for us to
understand what this is all about. According to the
information provided, mainly by the RCMP, we see that
traffickers are very skilled in their activities. They know
where to look for their victims and they know how to get
them under their control. They target bus stops and malls.
They target runaways, schools, group homes and shelters
where abused women and our youth are housed temporarily.
They know where to go.
According to the RCMP, there are three
basic elements in the process of human trafficking:
recruitment, transport and exploitation.
With regard to recruitment,
traffickers know how to entice and lure the victim, who is
usually vulnerable or gullible, and they lure that victim by
various means. They offer them hope, perhaps a job, love or
a new life. In some cases, the trafficker pretends that he
is in love with the victim. They give them gifts. This is
organized recruitment, as I said before. They target
schools, malls, safe houses, bus stations, airports,
playgrounds, bars and nightclubs, the Internet, and so on.
With regard to transport, traffickers
isolate the victim from their family and friends to make
them more vulnerable to manipulation, so that when they are
alone, who will they believe? They will believe their
trafficker. The traffickers exploit their victims. They know
how to manipulate them and how to apply coercion and
threats. Initially the trafficker is nice to the person, but
as time goes on the trafficker manipulates them. For
example, they showed a video where one trafficker pretended
he was in love with his victim and he manipulated her so
that she agreed to work as a stripper, and gradually she
agreed to do more and more things until she became totally
under his control.
In addition, traffickers threaten to
rape, beat, murder or traffic the victim's family members,
and they may threaten to expose the victim's line of work to
family or community, in which case the victim feels ashamed
and therefore trapped because the victim does not know where
to go for help.
We were told about the factors that
contribute to being trafficked. In general, the RCMP told us
there were factors such as poverty, gender, with women being
more susceptible, the presence of domestic violence, the
lack of social safety networks, and ill-informed families.
For Aboriginal women specifically, again, we were told there
is poverty was a factor. Also, among victims, there is a
high rate of homeless, single mothers, a high rate of
domestic violence, and the presence of addictions.
Honourable senators will notice that
poverty was first on both lists. According to the United
Nations Chronicle, "Poverty will always remain one of
the root causes for women and children to be lured into
prostitution and/or sex work." In addition, the United
States Agency for International Development emphasized:
Trafficking is inextricably linked to
poverty. Wherever privation and economic hardship prevail,
there will be those destitute and desperate enough to enter
into the fraudulent employment schemes that are the most
common intake systems in the world of trafficking.
Honourable senators, the greater
degree of poverty amongst Aboriginals makes them more
vulnerable to exploitation by those engaged in human
trafficking. According to the Report Card on Child Poverty
in Saskatchewan, 50 per cent of Aboriginal children,
compared to 19 per cent of all other children in
Saskatchewan, lived in poverty in 2001. In Canada as a
whole, one in four First Nations children, compared to one
in six other children, live in poverty.
The effects of poverty on one's
vulnerability to being exploited are exemplified by this
quotation from an Aboriginal sex trafficking victim. She
I wish I didn't have to do this sex
trade. I do it to get food for my son. It's really easy for
people to pre-judge and say that people have a choice to do
this, but if you don't have a home to go to or you don't
have any kinds of structures in your life, it's not as easy
as it seems.
In addition, honourable senators, the
Aboriginal Women's Network has reported that prostituted
girls and women in downtown Vancouver have experienced
violence, abuse, homelessness and exploitation at
disproportionate rates. Eighty per cent had a history of
childhood sexual violence. Seventy-two per cent had a
history of childhood physical violence. Eighty-six per cent
were or had been homeless. Eighty per cent had been
physically assaulted by johns. Seventy per cent had been
threatened with a weapon. Seventy per cent had been raped
more than five times, and this includes by johns.
It is not a pretty picture; not what
they had hoped for; not the dream world that they were
promised by their pimp or trafficker.
Honourable senators, there are
basically three types of human trafficking: People are
trafficked to work in the sex trade or other forms of
servitude such as domestic labourers, agricultural workers,
hotel or restaurant workers, or other forms of servitude.
Sex trafficking, or the trafficking of persons specifically
for the purpose of sexual exploitation, is the most common
type of trafficking. In fact, the U.S. Department of State
estimates that 80 per cent of all victims of international
human trafficking are forced into the commercial sex
In terms of child trafficking, in most
circumstances, children under the age of 18 are channelled
into the sex trade industry. Because of this fact, child
trafficking is considered one of the worst manifestations of
Then we have the general category of
labour trafficking, which is an act where someone engages in
any conduct that may or could cause the victim to believe
that their safety or the safety of someone known to them
will be threatened if they refused to provide labour or any
kind of work. Apparently, the definition in Canada is broad
enough that it also includes the sex trade.
Honourable senators, human trafficking
is a hugely profitable business. In the example that I gave
above, the man who trafficked a girl earned $350,000 from
her work in the sex trade. It is believed that trafficking
in humans is replacing trafficking in guns and drugs. That
is how profitable human trafficking is. It is a huge
problem. I cannot believe that in a country such as ours
something like this goes on.
Many people and agencies support Bill
C-268. Many recommendations by international and bilateral
commissions, such as the United Nations Convention on the
Rights of the Child and its optional protocol on the sale of
children, child prostitution and child pornography, have
urged Canada to adopt a form of mandatory minimum sentencing
for human traffickers of minors, to which this bill is
For the most part, response to Bill
C-268 has been positive. Member of Parliament Joy Smith,
after tabling the bill in early 2009, presented the House of
Commons with a petition of more than 14,000 Canadians
demanding that the penalties to child traffickers fully
reflect the gravity of the crime.
As of about a week ago, I received
nearly 100 emails asking that the Senate pass Bill C-268
quickly, without amendment. Several of these messages
indicated that the bill could have incorporated harsher
penalties, but the perceived need to enact a bill before the
Vancouver Olympic Games was seen as sufficient reason not to
pursue this avenue. I agree that we should pass this bill as
quickly as possible, but we should not do so without
ensuring that the bill is sound and strong.
I will talk about the importance of
Bill C-268 for Aboriginal families.
In the June 2009 Trafficking in
Persons Report released by Secretary of State Hillary
Clinton, Canada was identified as a "source, transit, and
destination country for men, women and children trafficked
for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation and
forced labour": the two types. In addition, the report
commented that "Canadian women and girls, many of whom are
Aboriginal, are trafficked internally for commercial sexual
One study in particular, conducted by
the Native Women's Association of Canada Sisters in Spirit
program found that in Winnipeg, 90 per cent of the children
being exploited in the sex trade were Aboriginal, even
though Aboriginals represent only about 10 per cent of the
population. Other studies have made it clear that Aboriginal
children are overrepresented in exploitation.
According to the Stop Sex with Kids
campaign based in Winnipeg, many First Nation children are
being sexually exploited on the streets of Winnipeg. Each
year, an estimated 400 children and youth are exploited on
the streets. Seventy to eighty per cent of these children
are Aboriginal, and 85 to 90 per cent are young girls, a
terrible problem and a horrible statistic.
In Saskatoon, it is estimated that
approximately 300 people turn to sex work at least once a
year to make money to survive. According to the EGADZ
Downtown Youth Centre, 36 Aboriginal girls under the age of
18 have been confirmed as involved in sex work. These
numbers are most likely an underestimate.
According to a recent research paper
by Anupriya Sethi, many Aboriginal girls are involved in
exploitation, following a trafficking process that involves
the movement of the girls through many major cities such as
Saskatoon, Edmonton, Calgary, Regina, Winnipeg and
Vancouver. The author makes it clear that though poverty is
a factor that makes Aboriginal girls more susceptible to
being trafficked, other factors, such as the horrific legacy
of residential school abuse and the lingering effects of
colonization, contribute to their vulnerability to
I would now like to discuss the bill
itself. Can the bill be further improved? Is the bill tough
enough? Are the penalties tough enough?
Bill C-268, as it stands, has three
serious shortcomings. These became evident to me when I
reviewed the legislation enacted in the U.S. in 2008. First,
in the United States, the Trafficking Victims Protection Act
defines two categories of minors: those under 14 years of
age, and those 14 and up to but under 18 years of age. This
recognizes the greater vulnerability of younger minors and
it acknowledges the fact that the average age at which girls
are introduced into the sex trade is 12 or 13 years of age.
Second, the penalties in the U.S. are
harsher than what are being proposed in Bill C-268. An
offence of sex trafficking involving a person older than 14
years of age but under the age of 18 incurs a fine and a
minimum sentence of 10 years imprisonment and a maximum
sentence of life imprisonment in the U.S. An offence of sex
trafficking involving a child under the age of 14 incurs a
fine and a minimum sentence of 15 years imprisonment and a
maximum sentence of life imprisonment. These are stiffer
sentences in the U.S.
It is also important to take note that
the American law also imposes a fine. This, too, is
important to keep in mind and consider at some point in time
as we continue to refine our laws on human trafficking. It
is clear that human traffickers make huge amounts of money.
I doubt that spending five years in prison will deter them
if they are allowed to keep the hundreds of thousands or,
perhaps, even millions of dollars that they have made by
exploiting women, children and men.
Honourable senators, I wish that I
could make a PowerPoint presentation in the chamber here
with a chart that would show the differences between the
U.S. law and the Canadian law — that is, the U.S. law with
its two different age categories and higher minimum
mandatory sentences combined also with a fine.
The third flaw in Bill C-268 is the
most serious. It really undermines the bill. The main
weakness of this bill is that it does not name the real
problem that it is intended to address; that is, sex
trafficking of children. The bill does not actually focus on
stopping the sex trafficking of children. It does not
contain the phrases "child sex trafficking", "child sex
trade" or "commercial sex trade" or any other phrase that
would indicate it is meant to stop the trafficking of
children for the purpose of exploitation in the commercial
sex trade. Yet, the main argument to support the minimum
penalties are based on section 212(2.1) of the Criminal Code
which imposes a five-year mandatory minimum sentence for the
aggravated offence of living off the avails of prostitution
of a person under the age of 18 — quite clearly a
Furthermore, in drafting Bill C-268,
Professor Perrin argues that it is important to provide
Crown prosecutors with charging options that best suit the
facts of child sexual exploitation involving a pimp or
trafficker. Yes, honourable senators, "child sexual
exploitation involving a trafficker"; and "sexual
exploitation", not other forms of labour exploitation.
I urge the committee members who
review Bill C-268 to examine and carefully analyze Professor
Perrin's statements and their reference to section 212(2.1).
Honourable senators, we are being
urged to pass Bill C-268 without amendment and to do so
quickly. However, I fear that the bill in its present form
will not do justice to children because it does not address
sex trafficking directly. Of course, we know that most
children are trafficked for victimization in the commercial
sex trade, but Bill C-268 does not differentiate children
trafficked for exploitation in the sex trade from those
trafficked for forced labour. Those two forms of trafficking
are vastly different in terms of their horrendous impact on
the victim and the huge profit to the trafficker. Every
person would agree that a child trafficked to work in the
commercial sex trade is in a far worse situation than a
child forced to work as a labourer in a hotel, restaurant,
agricultural or other type of servitude.
Honourable senators, I am haunted by
the memory of seeing Aboriginal girls who were only about
nine or ten years old on the streets of Regina, where men
drive by to pick them up for sexual services — I repeat:
nine and ten years old. Surely, there is a world of
difference between a nine-year-old Aboriginal girl
trafficked in the sex trade, compared to a nine-year-old boy
trafficked to work, for example, in the restaurant business
to wash dishes or clean bathrooms.
I hope this extreme comparison
indicates the serious nature of the omission of the explicit
nature of the type of trafficking that the bill is intended
to address, namely, trafficking for the purpose of work in
the sex trade and not in just any other form of servitude.
While I do not want to minimize the harsh treatment that the
boy in my hypothetical scenario would face, he would not
have been sexually violated repeatedly as girls in the sex
Honourable senators, the American
child trafficking legislation that I outlined a few minutes
ago specifically targets sex trafficking. In the name of the
bill, it actually says "child sex trafficking." Somehow,
this key element was missed during the drafting of Bill
C-268. Certainly, it seems to be the intention of the bill
to address child sex trafficking, gauging from the speeches
by the member who initiated the bill, the petitioners and
the general public who have contacted us. Mrs. Smith states
that the victims of trafficking suffer horrific mental,
physical and sexual abuse during their captivity. She
further said that in Canada today, child sex slavery is
alive and well and that these girls and women are destined
for the sex trade. Furthermore, as noted previously, the
examples used to convince us of the need for Bill C-268 are
cases involving female minors used in the commercial sex
The people who have contacted us,
mainly through email, have taken the advice of the Canada
Family Action Coalition. They virtually all ask us that the
Canadian government, including the Senate, needs to be tough
on crime and particularly crimes against women and children.
They say things like "women and girls are trafficked."
Others note that Bill C-268 would put Canada on par with
Thailand's standard, a country internationally known for its
sex tourism industry. All of these messages indicate that
they are concerned about the sex trade, because we know that
women and children are destined for the sex trade.
Perhaps it was missed during the
drafting of the bill because all the evidence indicates that
sex trafficking is the major type of human trafficking. One
just assumes it is in the actual wording of the bill, and
therefore reads it into the bill. Certainly that is what I
did. After reading the information on human trafficking, I
assumed the bill was targeting child sex trafficking
specifically, but it is not.
Honourable senators, I feel as though
I am on the horns of a dilemma. On the one hand, I believe
the bill should be passed, but, on the other hand, I believe
it is fundamentally flawed and soft on the crime of child
trafficking because it does not contain wording that
addresses child sex trafficking specifically.
How can we not name the offence of sex
trafficking of children, persons under the age of 18? Until
we specifically name and identify the problem of child sex
trafficking, we will not be able to end it. We have to name
it. We owe it to the victims who have been trafficked for
the sex trade to name what has happened to them as sex
trafficking of minors, not just as trafficking of minors. It
is a big distinction.
If we do not amend the bill so that it
addresses child sex trafficking specifically, we would be
sentencing traffickers of children for work in non-sex forms
of labour — such as in the domestic, hotel and restaurant
services — to a five-year minimum sentence, and traffickers
of children for work in the sex trade to the same mandatory
five-year minimum sentence.
Is that fair? Is that the right thing
to do? Surely the punishment for trafficking of children for
the sex trade ought to have higher penalties than
trafficking for other types of labour. In the U.S., as near
as I can tell, there are no mandatory minimum sentences for
trafficking for the purposes of forced labour.
Honourable senators, I hope that you
agree with me and that the committee reviewing Bill C-268
will make amendments that, first, incorporate the specific
notion of trafficking minors for the explicit purpose of
exploiting them in the commercial sex trade; second,
incorporate the two different age categories, as has been
done in the U.S.; and, third, incorporate a fine, as has
been done in the U.S.
The first proposed amendment is
essential to make the bill do what most everyone seems to
think it will; that is, enact harsher penalties for the sex
trafficking of minors.
The second proposed amendment
acknowledges the different vulnerabilities of minors under
the age of 14 and the more heinous nature of the offence to
them and the fact that we have children 9 to 13 years old on
the streets of our cities.
The third possible amendment is meant
to prevent convicted traffickers from keeping the
substantial monies that they made at the expense of their
victims. The One is Too Many: A Citizens' Summit on Human
Trafficking at the 2010 Olympics and Beyond organization
noted that "as long as trafficking remains a profitable
industry, the number of victims will only increase."
Honourable senators, if we fail to
rise to the challenge, and if we do not make Bill C-268
tougher, we will be failing the children of Canada and the
children of other countries who will continue to be
trafficked here because of a weak-spirited law. According to
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's Trafficking in Persons
report from June 2009 — I said this previously and I will
say it again — "Canada is a destination country for sex
tourists, particularly from the United States." If we do not
have a child sex trafficking law that is as tough as the
American law, traffickers will continue to operate in Canada
and sexually exploit our girls and boys. We need a law as
tough as theirs.
Honourable senators, here is the
challenge for us as individuals and as members of the
committee who will review the bill: Are we willing to be
bold? Are we willing to insist that the bill be amended so
that child sex trafficking is specifically named and that
the penalties are actually aimed at the specific offence of
child sex trafficking? That is what Canadians are asking us
to do in the many letters and emails that they have sent to
This amendment is critically
important. All of us in this chamber and in the other place
have a responsibility to all Canadian children to work
together and, as quickly as possible, to get an amended bill
that sets minimum mandatory penalties for trafficking
children for the specific purpose of exploiting them in the
commercial sex trade.
For the sake of the thousands of
children who have suffered the horrors of exploitation in
the sex trade, we — each and every one of us, each senator,
regardless of political affiliation — must be bold. I ask
honourable senators to stand up for all Canadian children
and demand that the crime of child sex trafficking be
specifically addressed in this bill.
Honourable senators, we must do our
duty. We must be bold. We must listen to the public who are
outraged about child sex trafficking. We must use our minds
in determining the soundness of the bill, and our hearts in
trying to help the victims and in listening to those who
have petitioned on the victims' behalf. It is equally
important that we search deep within our souls to ensure
that we make the morally and spiritually right decision.
Bill C-268 is a step in the right direction, but as is, it
is not bold. It is not strong. It is weak. At the very
least, we must amend the bill so that it names trafficking
of minors for the sex trade specifically and separately from
forced labour of any other kind.
Honourable senators, let me conclude
by saying much work has gone into the drafting of this bill.
I commend Mrs. Joy Smith and Professor Benjamin Perrin for
their tremendous work. They have worked very hard at
creating all the details that go into the drafting of the
bill. Like a mouse who knows every tiny detail around his or
her world, they know the details of the bill and the
horrific details of the world of child trafficking. On the
medicine wheel of life, the mouse is as important as the
hawk. The hawk flies above the mouse and sees the big
picture. For the sake of the children who are trafficked, we
must also be like the hawk and see the big picture. We must
see that we are trying to stop the trafficking of children
for the sex trade specifically. Thank you.
Hon. Roméo Antonius Dallaire:
Will the honourable senator accept a question?
The sexual exploitation of Aboriginal children is the
subject of an informal committee that Senator Pearson
created and that I chair. The topic of a means of curtailing
the demand has often come up as part of the solving of this
horrific problem in our country. Does the honourable senator
see the question of taking away from the judges their
ability to establish minimum sentencing and the requirement
for sentencing as the essence of curtailing this demand? Is
it just one step or part of a bigger plan? Has it been
presented as part of a grander design to curtail this
through other initiatives, social or economic?
Honourable senators, Senator Dallaire raises an important
issue. I focused only on the bill. I did not want to go into
other ways of dealing with the issue.
Of course, there is a demand.
Unfortunately, most of our laws dealing with prostitution or
sexual exploitation are weak. A male demand for women's and
children's bodies drives the demand. Profit to the
trafficker drives demand as well. Other things have to be
done to help the victims and to stop the demand.
With regard to demand from the men
buying sex from women and children, there must be stiffer
laws as in other countries or, perhaps, a societal change
may come about through greater education. A massive
education campaign should take place to educate all
Canadians. This issue should be talked about in sex
education in our schools. We have to protect our young boys
so that when they grow up, they do not think it is okay to
go out on the street to buy sex from a girl. Do we teach
that subject in our schools now? I do not think we do.
Some people at the conference that are
much better educated about this issue than I am — I am no
expert — have said that the sex trade is a form of male
sexualized violence. People are laughing, but it is true. We
have to focus on this issue directly and ask hard questions.
This bill is necessary. We have to
take the steps. We have to start somewhere. This bill is a
good way to start provided that we label it as sex
trafficking. I am not sure it will make a huge impact, but
it is a start.
I commend Mrs. Smith who has done a
tremendous amount of work. Canadians are happy that she has
done this work.
Hon. Gerry St. Germain:
The honourable senator made reference to the sponsor of the
bill in the House and those that created this particular
piece of legislation as having done an excellent job. Can
the honourable senator's amendments be part of another bill?
Is amending this bill the best way to proceed?
Sometimes, amended bills lose the
focus of what they were intended to do originally. I agree
with the thrust of the honourable senator's amendments.
The Hon. the Speaker:
I will remind honourable senators that Senator Dyck's time
May I have five minutes more?
Honourable senators, in my opinion, the best way forward is
to insert "commercial sex trade" into this bill. I do not
think the change will have a significant impact. The
honourable senator says that sometimes amendments cause the
bill to lose their focus. I argue that this change will add
focus, not take away from it. I would encourage all of us,
and the committee members in particular, to think of ways to
insert those words. In the U.S. law, the wording is simple:
I praise the drafters of the bill
because they have done a good job. In drafting something,
one is so focused on the idea of the sex trade that one can
read the words into the bill without the words actually
being there. I read the bill through repeatedly and I
thought it was talking about the sex trade. When I looked at
the American law, I suddenly realized there is no mention of
"the sex trade" or "commercial sex act" in Bill C-268.
Hon. Sharon Carstairs:
Honourable senators, Senator Dyck has proposed that there
should be a fine attached to this law, as we have done
recently in drug laws with penalties from large fines to
confiscation of property. Has the honourable senator
considered any range of fines? Does the American bill
address the concept of a range within the fine?
I am not sure if there is a range. I did not see a range in
the U.S. law.
In the example of the man in Niagara,
if he made $350,000 from selling a girl, he should not be
able to keep that $350,000. It should go to a general pool
used for the healing and rehabilitation of victims. That
money was essentially hers, only he took it.
Hon. Tommy Banks:
Honourable senators, I ask this question out of ignorance
and I apologize for that.
Did the honourable senator refer to,
and if not, is she aware of, Senator Phalen's bill dealing
with this subject? Does the honourable senator think the two
bills are at odds? If so, which is preferable? Does the
honourable senator have views on that particular bill?
I believe there are two bills on the subject of human
trafficking. Both bills deal more with the issuance of
temporary resident permits, which is different from Bill
Senator Banks: With leave of the Senate, I ask to
adjourn the debate on this bill in the name of Senator
(On motion of Senator Banks, for Senator Cools, debate