Libby Davies votes against anti-child trafficking bill
A few days ago, in a blog post published on the National Post's Full Comment blog, Jeff Jedras demonstrated one of the weaknesses of Canada's ideological left: the inability to get it right on the topic of crime.
NDP MP Libby Davies recently underscored this troubled ideological attitude toward crime when she voted against an anti-child trafficking bill.
The bill, introduced by Conservative MP Joy Smith, is one of the rare bills to achieve quick passage through the House of Commons and is expected to quickly pass through the Senate as well.
The bill will institute five year mandatory minimum sentences for child trafficking, with tougher sentences if the child is killed, kidnapped, or sexually abused.
By the estimation of anyone who understands what human trafficking entails -- which is only more disgusting when it involves children -- one also understands that five years is actually an extremely lax sentence for such an act. In fact, the mandatory minimum sentence is not nearly hard enough (for this particular offence, the mandatory minimum sentence should be life in prison).
The problem of human trafficking is particularly troubling in Vancouver's downtown east side -- the riding that Davies represents.
"Whenever I give public presentations across the country, I bring up the Downtown Eastside," explains UBC Law professor Benjamin Perrin, who helped draft the bill. "It's the end of the line for people who have been exploited. Trafficking victims are found there under the control of hard narcotics. Why is the elected official of a riding in this horrible state of sexual exploitation unwilling to take a stand against the traffickers of children?"
The answer, as it turns out, is pure ideology.
"This is another ad hoc approach by the Conservatives to appear tough on crime when there is no evidence to show mandatory minimums have any effect on deterring human trafficking," Davies insists.
Once again, Davies has missed the mark incredibly in the name of an ideology that believes the only role of criminal law is to deter crime and rehabilitate offenders.
Once again, Davies has forgotten two key principles of the law: punishment and protection.
In fact, Smith's bill is important not only for the protection of those who would be victimized by human traffickers if allowed free again, but for the protection of those they've already victimized.
"In order to come forward, the victim needs to know they are safe," Perrin explains.
Not to mention the fact that there really are few punishments befitting the vile act of human trafficking. A proper-thinking country would maintain the death penalty for dealing with criminals who are this immoral and this dangerous. Moreover, human trafficking would be one of the few instances in which it would actually be used.
One can imagine that Libby Davies -- who is currently involved in a challenge to Canada's laws on prostitution and has seemingly never found a far-left cause she isn't eager to front -- would bellow to high heaven if such an act were ever contemplated by government.
Libby Davies, Jeff Jedras, the Bloc Quebecois and the other two other NDP MPs seem to share one common affliction:
The inability to separate the issue of crime and justice from ideology. It's one of the key afflications that prevents Canadians from taking them too seriously.
Other bloggers writing about this topic:
Jamie Lee Hamilton - "Rabid Reporter Hasiuk Again Takes Aim at Libby Davies"