Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act (Bill C-36)

Françoise Boivin: Mr. Speaker, I thank my Green Party colleague.

I am very happy to be part of the committee that studied Bill C-36 very closely. Several amendments were proposed, and many of them were ruled in order.

There was a debate about the amendments. Clearly, the government had no interest in accepting them, but the resulting debates were interesting. With a little good will, committee members could have mitigated the potentially negative impact of the bill as written by the government.

At the beginning of her speech, my colleague from the Green Party said that she thought the minister would have presented something that would have been in answer to the Bedford ruling, so I would like to ask the hon. member what, in her opinion, would have been the proper answer to that ruling.

Elizabeth May: Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. justice critic for the official opposition, who has done such strong work in so many areas of law in the country.

I and the Green Party think the kind of law we need is probably found most closely in the New Zealand law. I expected, by the way, to see something closer to what is described as the Nordic model. I did not expect to see so many areas in Bill C-36 that would criminalize behaviour in ways that would increase the risk for people in the sex trade industry.

However, having studied the Nordic model and the New Zealand model, we prefer the law that goes furthest in ensuring that the activities in the sex trade industry lose their stigma. We should be able to say that someone in the sex trade industry or someone who works for them—in, for example, security or scheduling or health care—is not stigmatized. Then we can concentrate on people who are in the sex trade because of addiction problems, or on those under 19, or on foreign workers. God help us; what a horrific case there is of sex trafficking and human trafficking. We should focus on those and eliminate them.