Mr. Speaker, an epidemic is unfolding in this country in which thousands of our children, mainly girls, are forced into the sex trade just to survive.
The news out of Winnipeg today should be an eye opener for all of us. It is called survivor sex. It is replicated across the country. It is a tragedy spawned in poverty and desperation that is thriving on the inaction of the current government and past federal governments.
The Conservatives loudly proclaim they want to end child sexual exploitation yet yesterday they voted, as did unbelievably the Bloc, against an NDP anti-poverty strategy that would help these girls and their families out of poverty and desperation. Canadians are outraged. What are those members thinking?
Instead of cutting back on women's programs, shelters and services to help children and youth out of this hell, the Conservatives need to make a major injection of funds directly to victim outreach, shelter and prevention services. Instead of burying their heads in ideology they have to provide support to low income Canadians that will keep this epidemic from spreading.
The death of a 14 year old in Winnipeg has shone a spotlight on this deplorable situation. We dare not turn away.