QUEEN’S PARK – Today, the Ontario government tabled new legislation targeting human sex trafficking, much of which was proposed as part of Bill 17, the Saving the Girl Next Door Act, introduced by MPP Scott back on February 16, 2016.
“My Private Member’s Bill was a culmination of hard work done by the police, service providers and survivors of human sex trafficking. I’m happy to see that the government is acting on the recommendations we collectively put forward in Bill 17, including establishing an Awareness Day on February 22,” Scott said.
“But the government could have, and should have, acted sooner. Every day lost is another victim not rescued,” Scott added. “If the government had sought to work with me in committee to amend Bill 17, the measures they introduced today to protect our vulnerable women and girls could have been in place much earlier.”
Bill 17 was the result of a great deal of stakeholder consultation and received unanimous support from the Legislature on two separate occasions. However, it was never brought forward for debate in the Justice Committee by government members.
MPP Scott recognized that the fight against human sex trafficking is complex and will take a great deal of effort on many fronts.
“This legislation is an important component in the fight against human sex trafficking, but there is still much to be done,” she concluded.
The Ontario PC Caucus will make the new Anti-Human Trafficking legislation a priority, and pledged their support in moving it forward.