The Woolwich Observer
Province passes new Combatting Human Trafficking Act
To mark National Human Trafficking Awareness Day on Monday, the Ontario government introduced the Combatting Human Trafficking Act, new legislation and amendments to existing legislation to build upon the province’s $307 million Anti-Human Trafficking Strategy.
“Our government is taking deliberate steps to put an end to human trafficking and protect victims and potential victims of this terrible crime,” said Premier Doug Ford in a statement. “This tough new legislation builds on our Anti-Human Trafficking Strategy we introduced nearly a year ago, giving law enforcement additional tools to help prevent and deter human trafficking.”
The proposed changes would support the government’s response to human trafficking by:
Supporting a long-term provincial response to human trafficking and emphasizing that all Ontarians have a role to play in combatting human trafficking;
Strengthening the ability of children’s aid societies and law enforcement to protect exploited children;
Supporting more survivors and the people who support them in obtaining restraining orders against traffickers, with specific consideration for Indigenous survivors;
Increasing the government’s ability to collect non-personal data to better understand the impact of the strategy and respond to human trafficking;
Providing law enforcement with more tools to locate victims and charge traffickers by:
Increasing penalties for traffickers who interfere with a child in the care of a children’s aid society;
Clarifying how and when police services can access information from hotel guest registries to help deter trafficking and identify and locate victims, while establishing regulation making authority to include other types of accommodation providers.
Requiring companies that advertise sexual services to have a dedicated contact to support investigations into suspected human trafficking.
Human trafficking is one of the fastest-growing crimes worldwide. Ontario is a hub for human trafficking, with the most police-reported incidents of human trafficking in the country occurring within the province in 2019, accounting for approximately 55 per cent of all police-reported incidents of human trafficking nationally.
The average age of recruitment into sex trafficking is approximately 13 years old. More than 70 per cent of human trafficking victims identified by police are under the age of 25.
Since the initial announcement of the Clean Fuel Standard (CFS) Regulatory Framework in 2017, the Canadian government has prepared to implement a Clean
Fuel Standard to reduce annual greenhouse gas emissions and lower the full lifecycle carbon intensity of fuels used in industry, transportation and buildings.
With a Clean Fuel Standard in place, fuel producers and suppliers can help meet reduced carbon obligations and earn compliance credits by lowering the lifecycle carbon intensity of fuels. One example of how they may do this is by supplying low carbon-intense fuels such as ethanol in gasoline or biodiesel in fuel.
The Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) believes the implementation of CFS regulations can result in better pricing opportunities for Ontario farmers by creating significant growth in the Ontario crop markets while working towards a healthier, more sustainable climate.
The CFS will play a large role in the production of farm-grown feedstock. A carbon lifecycle assessment is used to analyze the greenhouse gas impact of fuels through the entire production lifecycle. For farmers, this includes the cultivation and harvest of feedstock used to produce low carbon intensity fuels. Land Use and Biodiversity (LUB) criteria mentioned in Section 38 of the proposed regulations will ensure the cultivation and harvest of feedstock do not reduce biodiversity or pose risks to any vulnerable species, ecosystems and habitats. The LUB criteria will also help reduce indirect landuse changes that risk increasing carbon emissions by the displacement of forests, wetlands and grasslands.
Increased markets for crops and crop residues in Ontario can provide opportunities for farmers to contribute to the production of lower carbon-emitting fuels. However, there is still work that needs to be done to ensure regulations are attainable for Ontario farmers. Having the ability to produce and grow quality crops is just as important as protecting the environment.
Many farmers are concerned the proposed regulations will hinder their ability to produce and grow feedstocks, impact the expansion and growth of farmland in northern Ontario, increase excluded zones
about 50,000 people, is the latest to do so.
The financial case for employers is just too strong for them to overlook opportunities that work-fromhome or work-from-away can provide.
Since employers are looking for ways to trust employees when they can’t always see them, we all need to figure out how to foster social capital for ourselves as employers. That’s what the pandemic is forcing us to learn and food service can certainly support our workforce in transition.
The four-day work week is also being considered by a growing number of employers. A Harris Poll suggested that 82 per cent of employees would consider working more hours over four days instead of working fewer over five. Respondents felt it would make them more productive.
Traffic at grocery stores increases by 25 to 30 per cent on Saturdays and Sundays, essentially because most of us only have the weekend to shop for food.
Few of us enjoy grocery shopping on weekends, especially these days.
Beyond the long lines at the cashier, by Sunday afternoon, empty shelves aren’t uncommon. In-store merchandizing and traffic management practices could improve to make our grocery experience much more enjoyable.
Online shopping is also likely to expand its footprint. Before COVID-19, about 1.7 per cent of all food was purchased online. Now, it’s almost four per cent. This also provides opportunities for companies to redefine their relationship with consumers, regardless of their roles within the supply chain.
Processors, startups, farmers’ markets and farmers now have a link to consumers without spending millions on marketing, thanks to COVID. That means more choice for consumers and more opportunities for all food players.
So if the 9-to-5 workday ends, good riddance. The food industry can only benefit over time.