Tonight, on a perfectly calm and warm summer evening I stood at the confluence of the Elbow and Bow rivers, surrounded by roses, in the garden of Deane House restaurant in Calgary. I sipped an Italian rosé wine and ate halibut cakes, duck arancini, cured salmon and seared ahi tuna. My loving husband of 27 years stood beside me. Sounds ideal, except for a knot in the pit of my stomach.
Why the knot? Despite, the glorious day and the chance to catch up with a few caring friends, we were actually there to learn more about a grotesque subject – the fact that human slavery which is also know as human trafficking exists in our city and our country.
According to the Criminal Code of Canada, trafficking in persons occurs when “someone recruits, transports, transfers, receives, holds, conceals or harbours a person, or exercises control, direction or influence over the movements of a person for the purpose of exploiting them or facilitating their exploitation (Criminal Code of Canada 2015).
This is modern day slavery. It is time to abolish it but that can only happen if more Canadians become aware that it is happening right here in our cities, our provinces, our blessed country. Tonight Calgarians, Paul Brandt and Paul Hardy launched their #notinmycity campaign to tackle this subject and raise money for both the Sheldon Kennedy Centre for Child Advocacy and the Joy Smith Foundation. Continue reading