The federal government is dedicating more resources to fighting human trafficking, including a special squad based in Montreal.
Federal Public Security Minister Steven Blaney made the announcement at RCMP headquarters in Montreal. He said a special team made up of about 15 officers will be based in Montreal because it has shown leadership in identifying victims and sex traffickers, with arrests made and charges laid in two cases in the past weeks linked to erotic massage parlours.
"They have been pioneering this whole agenda of the RCMP dedicated to tackling human trafficking," Blaney told reporters.
RCMP Sgt. Patricia Flood of the National Coordination Center in Ottawa said in 90% of cases, Canadians are involved, with the suspects prostituting their victims, who can be girls or boys, women or men.
"And then they get so sucked into this situation, that they feel they have no way out. They're embarassed, they don't want their friends or family to know what has happened to them," Flood said.
Part of the mandate will include training officers from different police forces as well as immigration and border agents. Two million dollars a year is being earmarked for the special team.