Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Quite clearly, Bill C-36 is the first bill we've ever had in Canadian Parliament that is compassionate towards the victims of prostitution and human trafficking, and for the first time, money is there to help them exit.
In Canada, or in any other country, children are the perpetrators’ prime targets. Why? Because they get a higher price. All the components around this bill support and are really well aware of the victimization of the prostitutes and trafficked people. That's the whole essence of this bill. That, and the targeting of the johns and pimps, criminalizing the johns and pimps for buying sex.
It's a great step forward, one that I think this committee can be extremely proud of. I commend Madam Boivin for talking about victimization because that's precisely what Bill C-36 is aimed at preventing. It will also prevent pimps and the johns having the opportunity to help prostitutes solicit in front of schools. In actual fact, in many cases that I've personally worked on, children have been solicited in school, on school grounds. There have even been narcs put in the school itself to look for the vulnerable people so that the traffickers could traffic them. I had an incredible case, out of Edmonton, of a young girl trafficked to Toronto just from that. She was a victim. But she was forced into prostitution from the school itself.
It is a very wise, balanced move for this bill to say, very specifically, that schoolyards and places where children are, are just off limits. Nobody can do that. It's not harming the prostitutes at all. In fact, very few police forces today arrest prostitutes because they recognize them as victims. They ask them to move along.
As MP Dechert, the parliamentary secretary, said, children have a right to their innocence and they have a right not to be targeted by the johns. Johns don't care. They don't ask how old a person is. And they do target the younger ones, the younger-looking ones.
I think that this is a well-balanced way. The argument that it's victimizing the prostitutes is absolutely absurd. For the first time, this whole bill, and the essence of this whole bill, recognizes the tragedy these victims go through.
In closing, I think we have to be very mindful that we don't want anything like this around our schools. It's just not something that we want to happen. Having the provision where we single-out places specifically where children are is a very wise and balanced move for the Canadian public.
This is a very well written, well-balanced bill, in both these regards.