Mr. Speaker, it is a real honour to rise to speak to Bill C-310. I want to thank the member for Kildonan—St. Paul for the incredible work she has done in being an advocate for this. I thank her and her family. Her husband and son have made a great sacrifice.
I think of William Wilberforce 200 years ago, who was the conscience of the British Parliament. He gave his life to see human trafficking, slavery, ended. In this Parliament we have a Wilberforce in the member, who has worked tirelessly to see modern-day slavery, human trafficking, end. I again thank her.
We have heard comments in the House today already that there appears to be unanimous support for this bill going forward. Wilberforce spent most of his life, many years, arguing in Parliament. He was nicknamed the conscience of the British Parliament. Hopefully this bill will pass very quickly so we can deal with this important issue.
The most vulnerable members of society tend to be those who are most likely to fall victim to this horrible crime. So often the most vulnerable do not have the ability to advocate for themselves. My colleague's unwavering support and determination to improve Canada's anti-trafficking responses and advocacy for those without a voice is to be commended and ensures that we as parliamentarians remain vigilant against this criminal activity.
I appreciate the opportunity to debate this bill. It affords each of us as parliamentarians the opportunity to once again discuss this serious issue of trafficking of persons. A week ago a number of young people came to my constituency office and presented 240 letters. These were young people horrified to realize that this happens in this day and age. They were from Walnut Grove Secondary School and I admire their courage and tenacity in calling on Parliament to make these important changes.
My colleague has already provided an overview of the bill and I support her comments. I do not intend to discuss the proposed amendments in any great detail, other than to say that I support this bill wholeheartedly and am committed to working closely with the sponsor to ensure it achieves its objectives.
I know that the Government of Canada has demonstrated a willingness to work with all parties, the international community and other stakeholders to address the crime of trafficking in persons. The government takes very seriously the task of improving Canada's criminal law responses in order to protect the vulnerable, to hold offenders to account and to improve community safety. These principles, offender accountability, protecting the vulnerable and standing up for Canadian communities, are at the very core of this bill and are objectives that the government strongly supports. I believe they cut across party lines and are unanimously endorsed by all members in the House. I am sure that in the spirit of collaboration we will quickly pass this bill into law.
The Government of Canada has long recognized the importance of a comprehensive, coordinated, multi-sectoral strategy to respond to trafficking in persons. The government's approach has focused on four specific objectives: one, preventing trafficking; two, protecting the victims; three, prosecuting offenders; and four, working in partnership with others. The four Ps approach has served Canada well and we remain at the vanguard of anti-trafficking efforts around the world.
Building on this approach, the government is committed to releasing a national action plan on human trafficking to better guide Canadian efforts. I applaud the government and my friend, the member for Kildonan—St. Paul, for their commitment and believe that an action plan will further strengthen our ability to prevent this crime, protect victims and hold traffickers accountable.
I would like to highlight a few examples of recent federal efforts. Recognizing the importance that a strong knowledge base can play in supporting ongoing responses, last year, in 2010, the government released a study examining the question of whether a national data collection framework could be established and the challenges associated with doing so.
The study and its recommendations continue to provide valuable guidance to all jurisdictions in Canada that are looking at this important issue.
Also last year, in 2010, the RCMP released its national threat assessment on human trafficking. The objectives of the assessment were to identify the extent of trafficking in persons in Canada, as well as organized crime involvement, transnational associations, source countries and trends involving foreign nationals and domestic victims.
The assessment includes analysis of organized criminal groups with suspected involvement in human trafficking, as well as discussions of issues, challenges and intelligence gaps that affect enforcement efforts in the disruption of human trafficking activities in Canada. In that way, the assessment aims to provide strategic guidance for enforcement efforts.
I know the government is also working hard in the areas of prevention and awareness and has recently launched into two national awareness campaigns—