Mr. Speaker, I would very much like to again thank the member for Ahuntsic for Bill C-452. It is a very important bill. We have talked tonight about the importance of the bill, including the consecutive sentencing and the things in the bill that would enhance the Criminal Code here in our country. That is very important. Our government, on this side of the House, is supporting this bill.
I would like to comment on some of the other comments that have been put forth in this House.
Just a week ago I led the Canadian delegation against human trafficking to Ukraine, which was hosting a meeting on human trafficking, where 52 countries attended. As I was sitting there, each country's representatives were talking about what happens to the victims of human trafficking who are pushed into brothels. The member for Ahuntsic spoke very eloquently about what happened to the girls, young women and young men who are forced into those brothels. For one moment, parliamentarians and people from non-governmental organizations from all across the nations were sitting together and talking about what we all know.
Up on the screen came the gateways and routes that the human traffickers use with their victims. They were all over the map. In Canada the traffickers use certain routes where they send their victims, who go through their own private hell.
What a lot of people do not know is that the traffickers target young people under 18 years of age. Why? It is because they are easy to manipulate and scare and control, and they are afraid and ashamed. As soon as they have serviced one man, they are afraid and ashamed, and the predators use that so that they can manipulate and coerce the girls.
A victim brings in between $250,000 and $260,000 per year to the predator. That is really a lot of money. If they have one victim it is one thing, but many of the predators have a lot of victims whom they traffic across this country.
For one moment in this Parliament tonight, I would like members to imagine their own daughter or grandchild and how they relate to them, or how members of the community listening to this telecast tonight relate to their whole families. These are children who watched Sesame Street as young children. These are children who give hugs when they go to bed at night. Then they become beautiful young girls and beautiful young boys, and that is when they are targeted.
I want all parliamentarians to know how predators work. The predators approach their victims in a very friendly manner and get their trust. Their objective is to get the victims' trust so that they can start influencing them. Sometimes it is young men or women who give the kids anything they want. It can be friendship. It can be parties. It can sometimes be drugs. It can be a lot of things, but the objective is to get them away from their support systems. Those support systems can be schools, families, friends or sports teams. They want to get them away and separate them from their support systems. Once they get them away, they persuade them to give them their identification, which can be drivers licences, charge cards or other things.
If parliamentarians think it cannot happen to the girl next door or to their own families, they would be mistaken. Hundreds of young girls have shared with me the terrible experience they have gone through, and to this day they have not told their parents.
It marks the victims forever. A lot of these girls never really get over it, but they do grow and become rehabilitated to a degree, and they do a lot to help others who are in the same predicament.
Therefore, when we talk about Bill C-452 tonight, let us put a face to the real people it would affect, the real people who have to live with it day to day, the real people who tonight are suffering not 10 minutes from Parliament Hill. We know of the very well-known case here in Ottawa with Mrs. Emerson, and there are other cases in Ottawa. The victims were manipulated. As parliamentarians, we have the wherewithal to take up the torch and stop this horrendous crime.
In Ukraine, 52 countries said they had the ability to stop human trafficking and they would do it.
As I was sitting in Kiev, Ukraine, there came an email from Calgary, Alberta. The email indicated that Staff Sergeant Rutledge and the Calgary police had taken down a trafficking ring and rescued some kids. I stopped the meeting and I read the email to the people in attendance. There was not a dry eye in the place. These high-profile, high-level conference people knew what this was all about. I told them that was the reason we were in Kiev that day, and I say to members tonight that it is the reason we are here in Parliament tonight working together as parliamentarians to stop this horrendous crime.