Winnipeg, Manitoba: July 29, 2010, Joy Smith, the Member of Parliament for Kildonan-St. Paul, hosted the Walk4Justice at Birds Hill Park today. The walk began in Kamloops, BC and is stopped in Winnipeg for July 28th and 29th on its cross country campaign. MP Joy Smith provided a campsite, food and beverages for the travelling group. The event began at 12:00 pm at Birds Hill Park and was followed by speeches from MP Joy Smith, Grand Chief Ron Evans and many others who work very closely with this issue. The event was capped off by Aboriginal songs dedicated to Canada’s many missing women and their families.
“This is an important event,” commented Mrs. Smith. “Walking to raise awareness of missing women is a noble pursuit. I thank everyone who participated, organized and helped with this event. It is time that Canadians became aware of the many women who go missing across Canada and work together to protect our daughters, sisters, mothers and friends.”
This walk is intended to raise awareness for missing women as it highlighted Glendene Grant’s daughter, Jessie Foster, who went missing in 2006. Jessie Foster left Edmonton to move to Las Vegas as a young woman where shortly after becoming an escort she met a man who was considered abusive. It is believed that Jessie has been trafficked since she disappeared from Las Vegas at the tender age of 21 in 2006.
“It is a very sobering reality,” commented Mrs. Smith. “In daily media we are bombarded with various news stories, but rarely are missing women mentioned. It is time for Canadians to take action and protect all women regardless of race, religion or socioeconomic status. I know that everyone would agree that there is nothing more tragic than when an innocent person goes missing.”
MP Joy Smith has long advocated for the protection of women, primarily through her work in human trafficking. Her human trafficking bill, C-268, recently received Royal Assent on June 30, 2010. This bill introduced a mandatory minimum five year sentence for anyone found guilty of trafficking a child under 18 and six years for aggravating circumstances involving violence or rape.