Published May 19, 2020When not deregulating the oilsands or laying off thousands of teachers, Alberta's provincial government is working to raise awareness and prevent human trafficking in the province. Now, it's been revealed that a newly formed task force will be led by country star Paul Brandt.
Today, Premier Jason Kenney announced that Brandt will chair the group tasked with creating and implement the government's plan against human trafficking.
"Alberta should be a place where people can live safely, free from exploitation and coercion," said Kenney [via 660News]. "Sadly, human trafficking exists in our province, and it is our duty to bring these human rights violations to light and do more to protect those at risk."
Brandt added, "Serving as chair for the Alberta Human Trafficking Task Force is an immense privilege and responsibility, as we work together to protect those who are most vulnerable. Freedom should be for everybody."
Brandt has long been outspoken against human trafficking. In 2017, the songwriter founded organization #NotInMyCity to "[raise] awareness and [take] collective action to prevent, disrupt and end sexual exploitation and trafficking, focusing on children and youth."
In a Toronto Star op-ed last year, Brandt wrote, "Since founding...#NotInMyCity, I admit I've had moments of doubt. I'm an entertainer, not a social worker, law-enforcement officer or government leader. Truthfully, the voices of critics and cynics have often been quite loud in my ears. But I often find their mindsets change when they hear yet another survivor's account of horrific abuse."
For his efforts with the organization, Brandt was awarded the 2019 Slaight Music Humanitarian Award by the Canadian Country Music Association last year. You can find a recent video from the foundation below.
Brandt's appointment as task force chair comes a week after Alberta's United Conservative government gave royal assent to the Protecting Survivors of Human Trafficking Act, which aims to protect survivors of human trafficking.