MP Joy Smith was first elected to the House of Commons in 2004 and was re-elected in 2006 and 2008 for the Manitoba riding of Kildonan – St. Paul. Since 2007, MP Joy Smith has been Chair of the Standing Committee on Health.
Joy Smith has been recognized as one of Canada's leading anti-trafficking activists. Since being elected, MP Joy Smith has led the discussion of 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.
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, MP Joy Smith has worked with federal Ministers on key legislation to further combat human trafficking and protect its victims and she has also introduced a number of Private Members Bills and Motions.
In 2009, MP Joy Smith introduced Bill C-268, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (minimum sentence for
offences involving trafficking of persons under the age of eighteen 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. 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.
Most recently, MP Joy Smith has released a proposal for a National Action Plan to Combat Human Trafficking. Connecting the Dots has been strongly endorsed by law enforcement, agencies and victims groups across Canada.
Connecting the Dots-A Proposal for a National Action Plan to Combat Human Trafficking (pdf)
Joy Smith, MP
Kildonan – St. Paul