Thank you, Mr. Chair.
I simply want to thank Madame Boivin for the amendment. The government will not support the amendment. In our view it's inconsistent with one of the main objectives of the bill, which is to protect children from prostitution's harms.
We believe that, as drafted, Bill C-36 balances competing interests, including the interest of protecting sex workers from unreasonable harm. We think it addressed those in appropriate and reasonable ways in full compliance with the opinion of the Supreme Court of Canada.
We also believe that vulnerable people, minors in our communities in general, also have a right to be protected. Children, Mr. Chair, have a right not to be exposed to prostitution. They have a right not to be put in a situation where they could be recruited into prostitution.
We heard very unfortunate stories from survivors of the sex industry, who talked about being recruited into the business in high school. We were told that, unfortunately in this country on a relatively regular basis, young girls are recruited in high school hallways into the business.
We need to send a clear message to the pimps and the johns, and everyone else involved in the sex trade that the schoolyard, the playground, the day care centre, and other places where children are, are off limits.
We believe children, at the end of the day, Mr. Chair, have a right to their innocence, and it's our obligation as a society to protect that right as well. We believe we're balancing those interests, and for those reasons we will not be supporting this amendment.