moved for leave to introduce Bill C-452, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (exploitation and trafficking in persons).
Mr. Speaker, trafficking in persons is an increasingly common global phenomenon, and unfortunately, Canada is not immune.
According to 2007 figures released by the UN, the annual proceeds of this criminal activity are estimated at $32 billion. It is the third-largest criminal trade after drugs and weapons trafficking.
The main entry points into Canada include Montreal, Toronto, Winnipeg and Vancouver. Canada is considered to be a country of recruitment, destination and transit, and even a sex tourism destination. Our current laws must be reviewed in the age of this new, modern-day slavery.
I applaud the determination of one my colleagues, the hon. member for Kildonan—St. Paul, and her efforts to combat human trafficking. She has also introduced two bills on this matter in the House.
Thus, my bill is part of a broader effort to combat this particular crime, which destroys lives.
On the one hand, this bill sets out consecutive sentences for offences related to trafficking in persons and prostitution. Thus, it sets out tougher sentences.
On the other hand, it clarifies the provisions related to human trafficking and sexual exploitation. It creates a presumption regarding the exploitation of one person by another. Finally, it adds the offences of procuring and trafficking in persons to the list of offences to which the forfeiture of proceeds of crime apply.
I therefore encourage all of my colleagues to set aside partisanship and support this bill, which can save lives.
(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)