Is Canada Doing Enough To Stop Sex Tourism and Child Exploitation Abroad?

Canada’s child sex tourism law has been part of the Criminal Code since 1997, enabling authorities to arrest Canadian residents engaging in sex with children overseas. Only three Canadians have been convicted under this law – the first case being that of Vancouver’s Donald Bakker. W-FIVE’s Victor Malarek investigates the incredible circumstances that led to Bakker’s arrest and 2005 conviction, and why Canada isn’t doing more to combat sex tourism and child exploitation, Saturday, March 7 at 7 p.m. (visit CTV.ca to confirm local listings).

W-FIVE continues to be Canada’s most-watched current affairs program. Last Saturday’s episode, about an Ontario preacher accused of influencing women to leave their families, attracted 975,000 viewers opposite HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA’S most-watched episode this season.

Bakker is notable to legal scholars as the first person ever charged under Canada’s child sex tourism law. But for those involved in his case he’ll be better remembered as one of Canada’s most heinous sex offenders, one who targeted everyone from drug addicted sex workers to children as young as seven. Shockingly, Vancouver Police explain to W-FIVE’s Victor Malarek that it was mainly through an incredible stroke of luck that they managed to connect Bakker to a particular brothel in Cambodia where he had been victimizing young children, forced to work there as sex slaves.

According to Benjamin Perrin, Law Professor at the University of British Columbia, the enforcement of Canada’s child sex tourism law is completely accidental and in no way proactive. Canadian authorities seem to rely on other governments and foreign law enforcement agencies to arrest Canadian offenders.

Also in this episode, W-FIVE continues its reports on a controversial church in Hamilton, Ontario. The Dominion Christian Centre of Canada recently had its charitable status revoked by the Canadian Revenue Agency after audits revealed that donations were used to fund personal trips, vehicles, gym memberships, food, lodging and other unsubstantiated payments.

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