NEWS
09/09/2014 05:00 EDT | Updated 11/08/2014 05:59 EST

Peter MacKay to testify as Senate begins prostitution bill review

Justice Minister Peter MacKay is the first witness Tuesday morning as the Senate legal and constitutional affairs committee kicks off a three-day "pre-study"of his bid to rewrite Canada's prostitution laws

The hearing gets underway on Parliament Hill at 10 a.m. ET.

In a landmark ruling last December, the Supreme Court concluded that several key provisions of the existing prostitution laws were unconstitutional, and gave the government one year to come up with a new legal framework.

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In May, MacKay introduced legislation to create what he has referred to as a "Made in Canada" law, which borrows heavily from the so-called Nordic model by focusing legal sanctions on the buyers, rather than the sellers of sex.

Earlier this summer, the House justice committee heard from sex workers, anti-trafficking experts, academics and advocacy groups from both sides of the debate over legalizing prostitution.

After three days of hearings, MPs voted to amend the bill to narrow the proposed restrictions on "public communication" to cover only areas in the vicinity of schoolyards, daycares and playgrounds.

That change — and, specifically, whether it goes far enough to address the concern that the new rules will do little to protect the safety and security of sex workers — will likely be one of the main issues up for discussion as the Senate committee begins its review of the bill.

Witness list for Tuesday, September 9, 2014

- The Honourable Peter MacKay, P.C., M.P., Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

- Nathalie Levman, Counsel, Criminal Law Policy Section (Justice Canada)

- Carole Morency, Director General and Senior General Counsel, Criminal Law Policy Section (Justice Canada)

- Donald K. Piragoff, Senior Assistant Deputy Minister, Policy Sector (Justice Canada)

- Michèle Audette, President (Native Women's Association of Canada (NWAC))

- Teresa Edwards, Director of International Affairs and Human Rights (Native Women's Association of Canada (NWAC))

- Robert Hooper, Chairperson, Board of Directors (Walk With Me Canada)

- Timea E. Nagy, Founder and Front-Line Victim Care Worker (Walk With Me Canada)

- Kim Pate, Executive Director (Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies)

- Julia Beazley, Policy Analyst (The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada)

- Suzanne Jay, Member (Asian Women Coalition Ending Prostitution)

- Alice Lee, Member (Asian Women Coalition Ending Prostitution)

- K. Brian McConaghy, Director, Ratanak International (As an individual)

- Katrina Pacey, Litigation Director (Pivot Legal Society)

- Kerry Porth, Chair, Board of Directors (Pivot Legal Society)

- Stephanie Claivaz-Loranger, Senior Policy Analyst (Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network)

- Kara Gillies, Member (Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network)

- Glendene Grant, Founder (Mothers Against Trafficking Humans (M.A.T.H.))

- Ed Smith (As an individual)

- Linda Smith (As an individual)

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