QUEEN’S PARK – MPP Laurie Scott (Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock) and PC Critic for Women’s Issues is calling on the Wynne government to release a comprehensive and meaningful action plan to combat human trafficking in Ontario.


“Premier Wynne promised an action plan would be introduced this month. With only a few days left in June, it’s clear that tackling this heinous crime targeting Ontario’s young women simply is not a priority for the Wynne government,” said Scott. 

Human trafficking is one of the fastest growing crimes in Ontario, and over 90 percent of victims – predominantly female – are Canadian-born, averaging 14 years of age. Traffickers recruit, transport, harbour and control the girl next door for sexual exploitation or forced labour.

“If the Wynne government does lay out a strategy, it must include my motion for a multijurisdictional and multi-disciplinary task force, which was unanimously supported by all MPP’s in 2015,” said Scott. The task force must be made up of specially-trained police officers, Crown prosecutors, judges, victims’ services and frontline workers to coordinate information sharing, collaboratively work to apprehend criminals, and help victims across the continuum of care.

Training and education would also have to be specialized for law enforcement, the justice system, victims’ services, health care workers, schools and businesses.

The government’s strategy must also include the important provisions in Scott’s Bill 158,Saving the Girl Next Door Act.  Although the bill received unanimous support on second reading, it is still languishing in the Justice Committee. The bill would allow for protection orders, the creation of a new tort for survivors to seek compensation, and the inclusion of trafficking of persons under the age of 18 in the provincial sex offender registry.

“To date, 149 municipalities across Ontario, including those in the GTA, Hamilton, Peterborough, Grey County, Armstrong, and Moosonee have passed resolutions in support of my Bill 158 and call for a task force to fight human trafficking,” added Scott.

Appropriate funding that reaches all those who work on the front lines to save the girl next door is needed in order for the strategy to be effective. Earlier this month, Scott criticized the Wynne government for falling drastically short of its 2011 commitment to invest $1.95 million to combat human trafficking. A Freedom of Information request revealed that since 2011, only $190,997 was actually distributed by the Ministry of the Attorney General to support community agencies specifically engaged in helping victims of human trafficking. In stark contrast, Manitoba’s Family Services Ministry has put $10 million towards its anti-trafficking programs just last year alone.

“The Wynne government’s inaction to combat human trafficking in Ontario is a disgrace,” concluded Scott. “If the Wynne government fails to put forward an effective and meaningful strategy, girls and young women in our communities will continue to be victimized by these disgusting predators.”