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Joy Smith, M.P.

Member of Parliament

MP Joy Smith holds a Bachelor's Degree (B.Ed.) and a Master's Degree (M.Ed.) in education and was a teacher for 23 years devoted to educating high school students in mathematics and science.

Mrs. Smith is also a best-selling author and a recipient of the Hedley Award for Excellence in Research. She was nominated as Manitoba's Woman Entrepreneur of the Year. She is also a wife and mother of six children.

Before becoming Member of Parliament for Kildonan - St. Paul, Mrs. Smith was the Member of the Manitoba Legislature (MLA) for Fort Garry and served as critic for Justice, Education, and Intergovernmental (Urban) Affairs. She also led the Manitoba Task Force for Building Sustainable Communities.

Mrs. Smith was first elected to the House of Commons in 2004 and was re-elected in 2006 and 2008. In November 2007, Mrs. Smith was appointed Chair of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Health and was reappointed in 2008. The health of Canadians is of utmost concern to Mrs. Smith and as the Chair of the Health Committee she is diligently working to ensure Canadian health issues are effectively addressed.

Among the many parliamentary groups on Parliament Hill, Mrs. Smith is an executive member on Canada-Ukraine Parliamentary Friendship Group, vice-chair of the Canada-Israel Canadian Parliamentary Friendship Group, and a member of the Canada-USA Parliamentary Association, Canada-Europe Parliamentary Association and the CPC Health Caucus.

Mrs. Smith has been recognized as one of Canada's leading anti-trafficking activists. Since being elected, Mrs. Smith has led the discussion on human trafficking at a national level which has resulted important changes in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. Her continued efforts to raise the issue of human trafficking on the Status of Women Committee resulted in an intensive study of the issue by the committee and the release of highly regarded report on human trafficking in 2007 called Turning Outrage Into Action.

One of her major achievements was the unanimous passing by the House of Commons in 2007 of her Private Members Motion M-153 on human trafficking which called on Parliament to condemn the trafficking of women and children across international borders for the purposes of sexual exploitation and to immediately adopt a comprehensive strategy to combat the trafficking of persons worldwide.

Over the past few years, Mrs. Smith has worked with federal Ministers on key legislation to further combat human trafficking and protect its victims

Mrs. Smith has also been acknowledged for securing federal funding to fight the trafficking of aboriginal women and children from First Nations communities from across Canada.

In September 2010, Mrs. Smith released a proposal for a National Action Plan to Combat Human Trafficking called Connecting the Dots. This proposal has been strongly endorsed by law enforcement, agencies and victims groups across Canada and adopted by the Conservative election platform in the recent election.

In 2009, Mrs. Smith introduced Bill C-268, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (minimum sentence for offences involving trafficking of persons under the age of 18 years). This Bill amended Section 279.01 of Canada’s Criminal Code to create a new offence for child trafficking with a five year mandatory penalty.

Bill C-268 has received broad support from stakeholders in the fight against human trafficking including law enforcement, victims’ services, First Nations representatives, and religious and secular non-governmental organizations.

Mrs. Smith has worked with her colleagues across party lines to gain support for this important legislation. On September 30, 2009, Bill C-268 received near unanimous support from Conservative, Liberal and NDP parties and was passed by the House of Commons in spite of opposition by the Bloc Quebecois.

On June 29, 2010, Bill C-268 was granted Royal Assent and became law. The successful passage of a Private Members Bill is rare and it is only the 15th time in the history of the Canada that a Private Members Bill amended the Criminal Code.
Joel Ryan/Invision/AP

If You Oppose Violence Against Women, Boycott 50 Shades of Grey

On Valentine's Day, a film was released that is set to warp the minds of a new generation. 50 Shades of Grey, a film based on the bestselling book of the same name, is being portrayed as a 'date night' movie of romance and intrigue. Except that the movie (and the book) is about humiliation, degradation and the emotional and physical abuse of women by men. The fairy-tale ending of the film, just like Pretty Woman, is one that millions of victims of sexual violence never experience. As one survivor of sexual violence shared "50 Shades is a horrible reminder of my own abusive relationship, repackaged as a 'love story'."
02/17/2015 08:57 EST
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Trudeau Shouldn't Need More Evidence Against the Prostitution of Marginalized People

A recent article on Justin Trudeau highlighted the Liberal Leader's position on prostitution as favouring an 'evidence-based approach' that protects marginalized people from violence. He just won't tell you what that approach is. It's time for leaders, in all levels of government, to stop waxing eloquent about "evidence-based" approaches and finally take a stand that protects marginalized women and girls. They are not commodities to be bought and sold. Every vulnerable and marginalized person has value and dignity and Canadian leaders should seek to end their prostitution -- not support it.
01/09/2015 06:00 EST
microgen via Getty Images

Toronto Councillors Should Not Protect Pimps and Johns

It's appalling that 25 Toronto Councillors have jointly sent a letter to Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, asking her to refer Bill C-36 to the Ontario Court of Appeal. Even more shocking, these councillors are requesting that the premier actually direct police officers to not uphold the law that was just passed by the federal government. The letter from the councillors cites the concern that Bill C-36 will be "dangerous for sex workers" and "will recreate harms that previously existed under the old laws." Their evidence of this -- well they talk about experts, but provide no actual documentation.
12/10/2014 08:42 EST
Getty

Bill C-36: Why We Are Targeting Pimps and Johns

Prostitution is not driven by poverty. Prostitution is driven by men who desire to purchase women and youth for sex. That is why, for the first time in Canadian history, our government has brought forward legislation that aggressively targets the pimps and johns who fuel the demand for this activity with tough penalties.
10/27/2014 05:48 EDT
shutterstock

Our New Prostitution Bill Protects the Dignity of Women and Youth

Canada's profoundly misguided approach to prostitution and treatment of prostitutes changed on June 4, 2014, with the introduction of Bill C-36, the Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act. By making prostitution illegal for the first time in Canadian history, the impact of the new prohibitions will be borne by those who purchase sex and persons who exploit others through prostitution rather than vulnerable individuals.
06/06/2014 05:13 EDT
Roman Vondrous/Czech News Agency

Prostitution Isn't a Nuisance, It's Violence Against Women

For far too long, Canada's approach to prostitution has been to treat prostitution, and specifically the women involved in it, as a nuisance and not as a form of violence against women. This approach must change. We must shift our approach to recognize that women in prostitution have the right to dignity, equality and most of all, to be free from exploitation and violence.
02/13/2014 05:12 EST

Dear Amnesty International, Legal Prostitution Harms Women

I am writing to urge Amnesty International to reconsider its policy position, leaked to the public, which promotes the legalization of prostitution and the rights of pimps over the rights of victims of sexual exploitation. AI has built its reputation on advocating for victims around the world. Why is AI abandoning victims now? We need to recognize prostitution for what it is. It is inherently harmful to women and girls and therefore must be eliminated. Legalization is the wrong approach.
01/31/2014 05:18 EST
Getty

Canada Must Target Buyers of Sex

Despite this new ruling, the debate around prostitution is hardly settled. There are those who wish to legalize and normalize the industry, those who wish to criminalize all aspects of the industry, and finally those, like myself, who recognize prostitution as an industry that is inherently harmful to women and girls and therefore must be eliminated.
12/20/2013 04:30 EST
Shutterstock

An Ounce of Prevention Is Worth a Pound of Cure

We all agree that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. An emphasis on prevention means that Canadians and their families will be less likely to live with the devastating effects of chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. These diseases are largely preventable.
10/07/2013 05:39 EDT

Hey NDP, Canada Is Doing Plenty to Combat Human Trafficking

Earlier this month, NDP MP Nikki Ashton, in a post criticizing the Canadian government for its apparent lack of action on human trafficking, revealed she was shocked to learn over the summer that First Nations women were being trafficked for sex. I am hardly surprised that Ms. Ashton is oblivious to the significant work that Canada's government has done to combat human trafficking as she admitted her lack of awareness of the sex trafficking of Aboriginal women and children until just two months ago. The gaping hole in Ms. Ashton's statement is the absence of any acknowledgement of the National Action Plan to Combat Human Trafficking that Canada developed and launched on June 6, 2012.
10/01/2013 08:05 EDT
Alamy

Why Canada Should Block Internet Pornography

Recently I applauded British Prime Minister David Cameron for his bold approach to work with Internet Service Providers to develop solutions to protect children, including an opt-out adult content filter. In this massive fight against child exploitation and the sexualization of our children, every step we can take makes a difference. We currently restrict and protect children from exposure to adult content everywhere but the internet. When ordering Cable TV, you have to "opt-in" to receive adult channels. Why should the internet be any different?
07/26/2013 08:54 EDT
Getty Images

The Right Aboriginal Women Desperately Need

For 25 years, Aboriginal women on reserves have been without the legal protections that are available to all other Canadians. When a relationship breaks down a husband can ban his spouse from the home, sell the house, and even keep all the money, without consent of the woman. The Government of Canada has introduced Bill S-2, Matrimonial Property Rights Legislation.
05/15/2013 08:12 EDT
Alamy

Head Back to School, Not a Strip Club

As university and college students begin a new school year, I would like to encourage them to be on their guard against human trafficking recruiters. Canadian strip clubs and escort agencies continue to make headlines for their recruitment efforts of Canadian youth. The latest is from Windsor strip clubs that are going after university and college students with offers of covering their entire tuition. Those seeking to recruit Canadian students into the sex trade are empowered by public apathy, and emboldened by indifference. Thus, I welcome the unequivocal action that the B.C. government has taken by writing to colleges and universities warning them of the very real threat of sex trade recruiters targeting their students.
09/04/2012 04:58 EDT
AP

Are Sex Traders Targeting Your Teenage Daughter?

Those profiting from the recruitment of Canadian women and girls into the sex trade have gone public through newspapers with their strategy of targeting Canadian high school students since they can no longer import young women from abroad to sexually exploit.
07/27/2012 01:15 EDT

Taking Action Against Diabetes

We all know someone in our family who has diabetes, and this support will help those we hold dear. That's why we are working with key organizations and stakeholders to help prevent diabetes, and to improve the lives of those who have or who may develop diabetes.
02/20/2012 03:43 EST
AP

Be a "Dot"-- Protest Human Slavery

Last year, I released a proposal for a national action plan to combat human trafficking called 'Connecting the Dots.' The complex nature of trafficking in persons and the rapidly increasing occurrence of human trafficking demands a comprehensive approach that draws together existing frameworks, stakeholders, and agencies.
10/20/2011 09:15 EDT