The passage of the new prostitution law has sparked a host of reactions. Many news articles opposing the legislation have been published, and some sex workers say that criminalizing their clients makes their work unsafe. Purchasers of sex are silent on the matter, letting the industry do their bidding while hiding behind the veil of anonymity.
A recent article on Justin Trudeau highlighted the Liberal Leader's position on prostitution as favouring an 'evidence-based approach' that protects marginalized people from violence. He just won't tell you what that approach is. It's time for leaders, in all levels of government, to stop waxing eloquent about "evidence-based" approaches and finally take a stand that protects marginalized women and girls. They are not commodities to be bought and sold. Every vulnerable and marginalized person has value and dignity and Canadian leaders should seek to end their prostitution -- not support it.
MP Joy Smith's December 10 editorial declares it "appalling" that 25 members of Toronto City Council asked Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne to refer the Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act to the Ontario Court of Appeal. In imposing her preferred frame of "survivors of prostitution" versus "pimps and johns," she fails to address the crucial point of the councillors' letter.
Prostitution is not driven by poverty. Prostitution is driven by men who desire to purchase women and youth for sex. That is why, for the first time in Canadian history, our government has brought forward legislation that aggressively targets the pimps and johns who fuel the demand for this activity with tough penalties.
While some women would no doubt make plenty of money by running escort services or choosing a few well-paying clients, the majority of those in prostitution do not have that kind of relative bargaining power. And considering that we share a border with the U.S., not only will decriminalization lead to increased demand from Canadian citizens, but also from our southern neighbours.
I am pleased to see that bill C-36 puts the responsibly on the johns. For far too long, prostitution has been an anonymous, low-risk activity for those seeking to purchase sex. Considering that prostitution has a high degree of violence (regardless of legal context), the only way to reduce the harm on a wide, long-term scale is to reduce demand for paid sex. We applaud Minister MacKay on his courageous first step of introducing legislation that recognizes the need for addressing demand and for pledging much needed funding for frontline programs.
Canada's profoundly misguided approach to prostitution and treatment of prostitutes changed on June 4, 2014, with the introduction of Bill C-36, the Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act. By making prostitution illegal for the first time in Canadian history, the impact of the new prohibitions will be borne by those who purchase sex and persons who exploit others through prostitution rather than vulnerable individuals.
The Government released a report on its consultations regarding Parliament's response to the Supreme Court decision last December striking down several prostitution-related offences in the Criminal Code. Regrettably, the information made available about the consultations raises more questions than it answers, and leads one to query whether an informed debate will occur.
Is sex work inherently and irredeemably wicked, as the abolitionsts would have us conclude? Or is it in fact possible to have a morally defensible prostitution? A testing of public values alone will not answer these questions, assuming they are even answerable. Values are an important and necessary starting point for a discussion of public policy, to be sure, but they are only one element of policy. Given that vulnerable lives are going to be affected, the feds are going to need to come up with a solid policy that has something more beneath it than our deeply-held touchy feelies.
For far too long, Canada's approach to prostitution has been to treat prostitution, and specifically the women involved in it, as a nuisance and not as a form of violence against women. This approach must change. We must shift our approach to recognize that women in prostitution have the right to dignity, equality and most of all, to be free from exploitation and violence.
HALIFAX - Justice Minister Peter MacKay says the government will introduce its new prostitution legislation well ahead of a December deadline.Speaking...
I am writing to urge Amnesty International to reconsider its policy position, leaked to the public, which promotes the legalization of prostitution and the rights of pimps over the rights of victims of sexual exploitation. AI has built its reputation on advocating for victims around the world. Why is AI abandoning victims now? We need to recognize prostitution for what it is. It is inherently harmful to women and girls and therefore must be eliminated. Legalization is the wrong approach.
For vulnerable Canadian young people ensnared in the sex trade, this morning's Supreme Court decision to allow legal prostitution is distressing. We at Covenant House, the largest agency serving homeless, runaway and trafficked youth in the Americas, believe it could result in an escalation of child prostitution and human trafficking, as it has in other countries where the sex trade is legal. Those of us whose primary concern is the protection of the young will be closely monitoring how the government proposes to implement and regulate prostitution.