Feds announce funding, special advisor to combat human trafficking
CTV News Regina
Published Wednesday, September 4, 2019 9:16AM CST
Last Updated Wednesday, September 4, 2019 6:51PM CST
The federal government has appointed a special advisor to help combat human trafficking across Canada.
Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Ralph Goodale announced the appointment, along with funding for a National Strategy to Combat Human Trafficking, on Wednesday morning.
"Human trafficking is a despicable crime that disproportionately affects women, girls, and the marginalized," Goodale said in a news release. "We must put an end to human trafficking, support victims and survivors of this devastating crime and bring its perpetrators to justice. Backed by $75 million in additional investments, the new National Strategy strengthens Canada’s ability to fight this abhorrent attack on basic human rights and dignity."
Retired RCMP Assistant Commissioner Shirley Cuillierrier will now act as a special advisor on human trafficking, offering advice to the government on how best to combat human trafficking domestically and internationally, the federal government said in a news release.
"I have seen the distressing consequences of human trafficking first hand through my work and as a community advocate," Cuillierrier said. "I am very grateful for the opportunity to contribute to the Government’s efforts to combat human trafficking, in particular as it relates to empowering victims, and I look forward to working with likeminded stakeholders."
In 2018, Ottawa funded a Canadian Human Trafficking Hotline in its budget. Wednesday's announcement includes another $57.22 million over five years, followed by $10.28 million annually, for the government to empower victims and survivors, prevent further trafficking, protect the vulnerable, prosecute human traffickers and promote partnerships with province and territories.
The government also says it will use the funding to develop a national case management standard, along with looking at ways to better detect and respond to possible cases.
Conservative MP Pierre Paul-Hus, Shadow Minister for Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, said a Conservative government "will deal swiftly and firmly with human trafficking as part of our overall plan for a safer Canada."
"Canadians deserve to feel safe where they live and to know that their government takes heinous crimes seriously," Paul-Hus said in a written release.