Lunney Presses Liberals to Take Action Against Exploitation of Women

OTTAWA—Dr. James Lunney, MP for Nanaimo-Alberni, stood in the House of Commons last night to pressure the federal Liberal government to take meaningful action against the exploitation of women.

“It is estimated that even in Nanaimo, some 2,000 women a year seek shelter relating to abuse in the home,” said Lunney in the House. “Against this backdrop, at the Liberal convention the agenda seemed to be on legalizing prostitution, legalizing marijuana and changing the definition of marriage. Canadians are frustrated by the lack of attention to this serious exploitation of the most vulnerable among us.”

Lunney discussed his tour of local facilities, including the Salvation Army’s New Hope Centre, the Tillicum Haus Society’s Safe House for Aboriginal Youth and one of the Haven Houses, a transitional housing program for women at risk. He also drew attention to a program in Kelowna called New Opportunities for Women Canada, and pointed out that of the 2,000 women and children the program has worked with, only two have claimed they were not sexually abused as a child.

“The parliamentary secretary talks about speeches at the UN and throne speeches, but we need action. He talks about posters and websites,” Lunney said, referring to the government’s response in the House. “We do not need more speeches and round tables; we need action to protect young people against child pornography.”

“Why don’t we raise the age of consent from fourteen to sixteen years of age, to protect our youngest from adult predators?” asked Lunney.

“Groups and organizations are working hard in our communities to help the victims of exploitation, while the Liberal party considers making prostitution legal and continues to fast-track immigrants as exotic dancers. Instead of getting tough with criminals, the Liberals make speeches and distribute posters. On the eve of International Women’s Day, to continue to condone such exploitation is unacceptable,” concluded Lunney.