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Province passes new Combatting Human Trafficking Act

To mark National Human Trafficking Awareness Day on Monday, the Ontario government introduced the Combatting Human Trafficking Act, new legislation and amendments to existing legislation to build upon the province’s $307 million Anti-Human Trafficking Strategy.

“Our government is taking deliberate steps to put an end to human trafficking and protect victims and potential victims of this terrible crime,” said Premier Doug Ford in a statement. “This tough new legislation builds on our Anti-Human Trafficking Strategy we introduced nearly a year ago, giving law enforcement additional tools to help prevent and deter human trafficking.”

The proposed changes would support the government’s response to human trafficking by:

Supporting a long-term provincial response to human trafficking and emphasizing that all Ontarians have a role to play in combatting human trafficking;

Strengthening the ability of children’s aid societies and law enforcement to protect exploited children;

Supporting more survivors and the people who support them in obtaining restraining orders against traffickers, with specific consideration for Indigenous survivors;

Increasing the government’s ability to collect non-personal data to better understand the impact of the strategy and respond to human trafficking;

Providing law enforcement with more tools to locate victims and charge traffickers by:

Increasing penalties for traffickers who interfere with a child in the care of a children’s aid society;

Clarifying how and when police services can access information from hotel guest registries to help deter trafficking and identify and locate victims, while establishing regulation making authority to include other types of accommodation providers.

Requiring companies that advertise sexual services to have a dedicated contact to support investigations into suspected human trafficking.

Human trafficking is one of the fastest-growing crimes worldwide. Ontario is a hub for human trafficking, with the most police-reported incidents of human trafficking in the country occurring within the province in 2019, accounting for approximately 55 per cent of all police-reported incidents of human trafficking nationally.

The average age of recruitment into sex trafficking is approximately 13 years old. More than 70 per cent of human trafficking victims identified by police are under the age of 25.


6:45 AM | Wellington County OPP, Centre Wellington Fire & Rescue, and Guelph-Wellington Paramedic Services responded to a collision on Wellington Road 17 east of Alma. Initial reports indicated that a pickup truck on Wellington Road 17 collided with two other vehicles. Two drivers were transported by ambulance to hospital with serious non-life-threatening injuries. The third driver was not injured. A 21-year-old Mulmur Township man was charged with ‘careless driving causing bodily harm,’ ‘operate motor vehicle no insurance’ and ‘improper tires.’ The investigation is ongoing, and police are asking anyone that may have witnessed this collision to call 1-888-310-1122.


9:01 AM | Waterloo Regional Police received a report of a break-in to a utility trailer that was parked at a construction site in the area of Crab Apple Crescent in Wellesley. Sometime overnight, unknown suspects forced entry to the trailer and stole power tools. The investigation remains ongoing. Anyone with information is encouraged to contact police at 519-570-9777 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.


1:57 AM | Police responded to the area of Arthur Street North and Floradale Road in Woolwich for a single-vehicle collision after a driver lost control and struck a hydro pole. The investigation remains ongoing.

2:19 PM | A two-vehicle collision brought police to the St. Jacobs roundabout. No injuries were sustained. As a result of the investigation, one driver was charged with ‘change lane – not in safety.’

8:16 PM | A single-vehicle collision occurred at Bloomingdale and Ebycrest roads near Bloomingdale when a driver lost control and struck a regional road sign. No one was injured.


7:58 PM | Waterloo Regional Police responded to Manser Road in Wellesley for reports of single-vehicle collision. The driver of the vehicle lost control and struck a hydro pole. Road conditions were a factor. No injuries were sustained.

Police responded to a minor collision Wednesday morning in Linwood. There were no injuries. [Damon MacLean]

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