Mel Arnold, Member of Parliament for North Okanagan – Shuswap, is welcoming the next step in the Conservative plan for A Safer Canada announced by Conservative Party of Canada Leader Andrew Scheer yesterday. In his announcement, Scheer committed that a Conservative government will take a stand to protect the vulnerable members of our society and keep human traffickers off our streets.
“From small towns to big cities, we’re seeing a concerning and disturbing rise in human trafficking,” said Arnold. “Of course, many of the victims are children. Preying on society’s most vulnerable is truly despicable and a Conservative government will take action to fight human trafficking.”
The Toronto Police have referred to human trafficking in Canada as “an epidemic,” with over 1,000 cases in the past five years. Seventy-two per cent of victims are under the age of 25 and a quarter under 18. Indigenous Canadians are also disproportionately victimized, making up at least half of all human trafficking victims.
“The current Liberal government has failed to combat human trafficking,” Arnold continued. “The government’s inaction over the last three and a half years combined with their cancellation of the National Action Plan to Combat Human Trafficking has sent a message to human traffickers that fighting their heinous crimes isn’t a priority.”
The Conservative plan announced on May 22 to combat human trafficking includes:
• renewing the National Action Plan to Combat Human Trafficking
• updating the Criminal Code to reflect the international definition of human trafficking in the Palermo Protocol and help our justice system secure convictions
• ensuring that human traffickers receive consecutive sentences for their crimes
• ending automatic bail for those charged with human trafficking offences
“Conservatives have a strong plan to put survivors first and keep traffickers off our streets,” said Arnold. “It’s time to take swift action to end human trafficking in Canada and support organizations with the resources they need to rescue and protect survivors.”