OTTAWA, October 5, 2009 ( – Federal MP Joy Smith's Bill C-268, which proposes five year minimum sentences for traffickers of children, received significant support from 239 Members of Parliament during the vote at Third Reading last week. However, 43 MPs of the Bloc Quebecois and 3 MPs from the NDP parties voted against harsher penalties for child traffickers.  

While the Bloc MPs voted along Party lines against the measure, three NDP MPs joined in opposition to the bill despite wide support from the rest of the NDP, Liberals and Conservatives.  The three NDP MPs were: Libby Davies – one of the most vocal pro-abortion MPs in Parliament, Bill Siksay – acknowledged as the leader in the Commons on homosexual issues, and Megan Leslie.
Timea Nagy, a former victim of human trafficking, sat in gallery of the House of Commons watching the vote on C-268. After the vote she said she felt horrified that anyone would vote against such legislation.
“I don't understand how anyone could feel that five years in jail is too much for those who offer children for sale,” said Timea Nagy. “What if it were their child that was trafficked? Would they still have voted the same way?”
Prior to the vote on Bill C-268, an email was distributed to all MPs with a message from Timea.  She wrote: “As a person who has experienced this horrific crime first hand, and as a person who is now helping other victims by giving them hope and courage to go to the police and give a statement, facing the possibility that their keepers will walk or get a light sentence is the hardest part of my job.”

She noted that “Trafficking drugs and guns get tougher sentences then trafficking a person.”
Timea was by not the only person shocked by the resistance to C-268. Pierre-Hugues Boisvenu, founder of Murdered or Missing Persons' Families' Association (MMPFA), took the Bloc Quebecois to task for its partisan opposition to the bill: “Voting against this Bill will be detrimental to Quebec and the victims of criminal acts.  The Bloc's position suggests that attacking children is not serious and not subject to severe sentences.”

The full list of voting results can be viewed here.


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