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Saskatchewan developing new human trafficking legislation similar to Alberta bill

The government of Saskatchewan is working to develop new provincial legislation to prevent human trafficking. Mark Taylor / The Canadian Press

The Saskatchewan government is leaning on Alberta as it tries to develop new provincial legislation to prevent human trafficking.

Alberta introduced a bill in April that it said would empower survivors of human trafficking.

“Human trafficking is an issue of increasing concern across Canada,” said Don Morgan, Saskatchewan’s justice minister and attorney general.

Read more: Alberta government introduces human trafficking bill

“I have asked officials within the Ministry of Justice to review the bill recently passed in Alberta with a mind to developing similar legislation here in Saskatchewan.”

The Alberta bill, if passed, will expand the definition of sexual exploitation to include people of all ages and make it easier for survivors to get protection orders.

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It would also enable police to take faster action to rescue survivors and allow survivors to sue traffickers.

“The truth is it happens in our own communities, and sometimes it happens as close as the business or house next door,” Alberta Premier Jason Kenney said in a statement in April.

Read more: Federal funding falls short of need for anti-human trafficking programs, LAWC says

Alberta’s bill would also create an awareness day on Feb. 22.

“Human trafficking is an insidious crime that can be challenging for the justice system to respond to as it ruins the lives of victims and their families,” Morgan said.

“As we explore how this type of legislation can be passed in Saskatchewan, we will be taking the complex nature of human trafficking crime into account to ensure we can effectively address these challenges.”

Morgan said the province will be working with various partners in the legal profession, policing and the community to help create an effective bill to address the issue of human trafficking.

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