Federal Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer announced his party's plan to combat human trafficking Wednesday at Farmtown Canada in Aylmer.

The Conservatives would take a four-pronged approach to get tough on human traffickers that would include changes to the Criminal Code and consecutive sentences to those convicted of the crime.

"Human trafficking exploits the most vulnerable populations in Canada,” Scheer said, citing a statistic that 95 per cent of victims are women, and more than a quarter of victims are under the age of 18.

He said Indigenous Canadians represent half of all victims, despite representing only 4 per cent of Canada’s population.

In making the announcement, the Conservatives provided information that referenced the arrest of 25 men in London last December for human trafficking.

In that case, London police were able to make contact with women involved in the sex trade in order to offer assistance. Of 56 women contacted, two victims were able to get help and get out of the trade.

“Every victim deserves justice and our support and protection,” Scheer said.

He said his government would:

  • Renew the National Action Plan to Combat Human Trafficking
  • Update the Criminal Code to reflect the international definition of human trafficking in the Palermo Protocol
  • Ensure that human traffickers receive consecutive sentences for their crimes
  • End automatic bail for those charged with human trafficking offences

“Canadians deserve to feel safe where they live and to know that their government takes heinous crimes seriously,” Scheer said.

“A Conservative government will deal swiftly and firmly with human trafficking as part of our overall plan for A Safer Canada.”

Scheer, in the hopes of unseating Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, has been ramping up his public appearances as the fall federal election approaches.

His last visit to the region was in February of 2018.