Thank you. I want to thank all the members of this committee for coming today and all our guests today for your input.
Mr. McConaghy, it's nice to see you. You've done so much good work with Ratanak and the Willie Pickton file. It's a great honour to have you here.
When you listen today.... I have a question and I'll try to frame it. The Bedford case gave us a year to respond. We don't send it back to the Supreme Court of Canada. The Supreme Court of Canada said Parliament must come back with a decision before December 19, with a response. Bill C-36 came about and when we're asking.... We heard so many voices of survivors, so many. The survivors came in and bravely sat in these chairs and talked about what happened to them behind closed doors. They told us that Bill C-36 was very important. Why? Because the buying of sex was going to be put in place and they had something that could bring them out in the open to be able to defend themselves because now the perpetrators were targeted.
It was a compassionate bill. For the first time in Canadian history, Canada produced a compassionate bill that looked at what was happening to the victims of human trafficking and of prostitution, which are really one and the same, because often.... We heard at this committee that there are no people under 18 who are trafficked or prostituted. In fact, when we listened to the survivors, all of them started underage and things progressed.
When we look at this whole thing, there is an urgency for Canada and an urgency for all parliamentarians to understand what's going on and to get busy and do the job instead of dragging their feet and letting it fall under the bus. We've talked about this law and that law, and the other thing. Human trafficking laws and mandatory minimums came in June 2010. It is now July 2014. That's four years ago. Following that was another law on human trafficking in 2012, and there was one in 2005. So the laws on human trafficking are new. So what do we have? We have a police force that has done a remarkable job on human trafficking. If you google human trafficking, it comes up all the time. Canada, I think, has done a remarkable job at finding out what's going on. Our government has done that; found out what has gone on behind closed doors. Now the voices of the survivors are out there.
Brian, you've had a lot of experience in this. You know what you're talking about and I want to talk to you about police training. What we've heard here in the committee is that the police sometimes think the victims should be arrested and sometimes think the victims shouldn't be arrested. They're all well-meaning because they all want to take care of the victims. But I've also heard from some of the victims. Some of the victims have said, “Well, you know when they arrest me they bargain with me. Turn over the goods and then I'll get you out of harm's way.” If they don't, they don't take them out of harm's way. That's the reality of what I've heard from the victims.
My son is a police officer. I love the police. I'll do anything for the police but I find that disturbing.
The other thing is that police are saying, “You know, if we don't have some laws, somewhere along the way, we have no tools.” I find that disturbing.
Could you talk a little bit about police training and could you talk a little bit about the realities on the street? Because we have to get this show on the road.