Council expresses unanimous support for anti-human trafficking bill

Wed, 27 Jul 2016

Council has voted unanimously in favour of a motion expressing Oakville's support for provincial Bill 148, Saving the Girl Next Door Act, 2014.

The bill, introduced by MPP Laurie Scott, would establish a coordinated, multi-jurisdictional task force to confront human trafficking in Ontario.

“In the recent past we have already seen a couple of instances where this heinous crime has been active within our Town; in the last month, Halton police have searched locally for a man charged with human trafficking,” said Councillor Marc Grant, who moved the motion. “This motion calls on provincial MPPs to provide our law enforcement, prosecutors and support services with the tools to combat the exploitation of a vulnerable sector and protect our daughters, sisters, and friends.”

Human trafficking has been cited as one of the fastest growing crimes in Canada, with the average age of victims estimated to be around 14 years old. A number of reports have indicated that Indigenous women and girls are disproportionately targeted by human traffickers.

“Combating human trafficking requires cooperation and coordination between law enforcement, victims’ services, frontline agencies and more,” said Mayor Rob Burton. “This bill encourages that comprehensive approach, and it is Council’s hope that other community leaders across Ontario will join us in supporting it.”