Anti-child sex trafficking advocate Cathy Peters urged the district council to act and advocate to bring an end to sexual exploitation during the May 25 meeting.
Peters is speaking up for the sexually exploited through her “Be Amazing Campaign to End Sexual Exploitation” campaign.
“I’ve been raising awareness about sexual exploitation and child sex trafficking to every city council, MLA, MP and police agency in B.C.,” she told council. “The clear statement from Parliament is that girls and women in Canada are not for sale, that they are full human beings with dignity and human rights.”
Peters said Indigenous women and girls are “severely overrepresented” in sexual exploitation and human trafficking, condemning it as “the worst case of systemic racism in the country.” She cited globalization, unregulated technology, limited law enforcement and poor prevention education as contributing factors to the ongoing problem.
“The biggest problem is Canadians don’t believe it’s happening here,” Peters said. “The sex industry is not glamourous or empowering for any woman.”
Peters called upon council to write to the Premiere and Solicitor general as well as to the federal justice minister to advocate for more enforcement against sexual exploitation and human trafficking.
In other council business:
– Mayor Sylvia Pranger reported she and CAO Wallace Mah spoke with Lower Mainland managers with the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MOTI) to establish face-to-face contact and address ongoing issues in the area, including the Agassiz-Rosedale Bridge.
“It was a good meeting, and we will continue these face-to-face meetings a few times per year,” Pranger added.
– Council approved $47,000 to be paid to AquaTerra Environmental for environmental management and monitoring services to the district.
– Council approved using $7,000 to upgrade lights in the to upgrade the Agassiz Fire Hall interior lighting to LED lights.
– Coun. Susan Spaeti attended the grand re-opening of Glenwood Seniors COmmunity on May 11. The community was forced to close to assess and repair damage caused by an early January water leak. Residents have since come home.
– Pranger declared June 19 as the Longest Day of Smiles. This is a campaign from Operation Smile Canada designed to raise awareness and funds for cleft condition surgeries and research. As of May 27, more than $692,000 has been raised for this year’s campaign.
The next regular District of Kent Council meeting is scheduled for March. 14 at 7 p.m. at Municipal Hall. Online attendance is also available via Microsoft Teams; those interested can register through kentbc.ca.