Mr. Speaker, the first wave of COVID-19 exposed deep gaps in our social infrastructure and let us see the desperation of our most vulnerable, such as sex trade workers. Many cannot claim benefits like CERB because the work they do is criminal. They cannot pay rent. They face an increased amount of societal violence, are at risk in shelters and are stigmatized by many.
I shout out to an organization in Vancouver named WISH, which provides a safe, non-judgmental place for sex trade workers facing gender-based violence, giving them shelter, food and respite and helping them gain workforce skills if they wish to exit the trade. WISH recently opened the first overnight shelter in Canada for street workers. Last week, its executive director Mebrat Beyene won the YWCA Women of Distinction Award for non-profits.
Brava WISH. Keep defending the vulnerable and speaking out for the voiceless.