Hon. Lillian Eva Dyck: Honourable senators, my
question is for the Leader of the Government in the Senate.
Canada is a signatory to Article 9 of the United Nations
Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in
Persons Especially Women and Children. Therefore, Canada
ought to be active in efforts to prevent trafficking and, in
so doing, leading civil society to play an active role in
preventing the occurrence of trafficking.
nature of human trafficking makes it very difficult to track
once in progress. Enacting human trafficking legislation
alone without other government measures will not make a
significant impact on the level of trafficking, in
particular taking measures to attack the root causes that
lead to people being trafficked. Without undertaking
preventive measures, we will likely not see a decrease in
human trafficking, a crime which is an abomination to the
very notion of human rights.
Would the Leader of the Government in the Senate tell the
chamber what steps the government is taking in adopting
article 9 of the protocol, specifically with respect to the
prevention of human trafficking?
Hon. Marjory LeBreton (Leader of the Government and
Minister of State (Seniors)): Honourable senators, I
think we all agree that human trafficking is an abominable
situation. We have a bill in the Senate introduced by
Senator Phalen and carried on by Senator Carstairs. We have
another private member's bill being sponsored by member of
Parliament Joy Smith. It is in the chamber right now. This
bill is extremely important.
With the Olympics coming, the issue of human trafficking
and trying to get some control over it is paramount. It is a
serious problem that requires great effort on behalf of all
parliamentarians and law officials, particularly. I know
that Minister Van Loan of Public Safety Canada has been
working with many agencies and countries on this serious
matter. I would urge the passage of Joy Smith's bill so we
could get it into law and it would go some considerable way
in dealing with the human trafficking issue.
Senator Dyck: With all due respect to the leader,
I do not think she understood my question. It was not with
regard to prosecution but with regard to preventive
For example, has the government provided additional
resources to the RCMP, targeted specifically to prevent any
increased human trafficking and to prevent any increased
demand for paid sexual services during the Vancouver Games?
What actual, concrete actions has the government taken to
prevent increased human trafficking during the Olympic
Senator LeBreton: I thank the honourable senator
for her question. I do believe I answered her question when
I said that Minister Van Loan, the Minister of Public
Safety, is working with many agencies, not only in Canada,
but internationally, to address this serious issue.
I specifically mentioned the Vancouver Olympics. The work
of the RCMP and the resources the RCMP use might not be
something I can easily put my hands on. However, I am happy
to take the question as notice as to what policy positions I
can table in this place with regard to this serious issue.
Again, there are some measures we can take now, and
anything we can do in this area would be certainly welcome.
Senator Di Nino: Pass the bill.
Senator Dyck: Prosecution alone, I will repeat, is
not sufficient to eliminate human trafficking. There needs
to be a multi-pronged approach.
For example, has the government increased resources to
organizations like Crime Stoppers or Stop Sex with Kids in
order to prevent increased victimization of women and
children during the Olympic Games?
Senator LeBreton: With regard to Crime Stoppers
and similar organizations, I do not have a definitive
answer. Common sense would tell us that all police forces
and all provincial, municipal and federal agencies would be
doing everything possible to deal with this serious crime.
Senator Dyck: Is there a policy or strategy the
government has developed that relies upon more than common
sense to specifically address this problem?
Senator LeBreton: Senator Dyck, I answered that
Senator Tkachuk: Listen to the answer.
Senator LeBreton: I thought, perhaps, the actual
activities of the RCMP may be hard to acquire. I would be
happy to take the question as notice to see if there is any
written policy statement I can table in the Senate to answer
the honourable senator's question.