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This month marks the 32nd anniversary of Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms, a landmark achievement in the promotion and protection of human rights, and which has served as a model for other countries drafting constitutions of their own. While Canadians have occasion and cause to celebrate this transformative constitutional document, silence is to be expected from Canada's Conservative government. The government's consistent refusal to fully acknowledge the Charter's importance is regrettable not only as a matter of symbolism, but as one of substance as well.
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As one of the key institutions of the federal government, it obviously makes sense for the Supreme Court to enjoy certain constitutional protections. But to decree that even modifying the resume criteria for the men and women who sit on it should require nothing short of a constitutional amendment is to cordon off yet another enormous realm of the broken Canadian political system from even the mildest tinkerings of common-sense improvement.
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Mr. Harper's subjective motivations are irrelevant, as the Court's ultimate decision is sadly also irrelevant. Intentional or not, and whatever the decision, your appointment has created a situation that can only further divide Canadians and damage the reputation of and respect for the Supreme Court you have been asked to serve.
Creating laws that are overly broad and ineffective will just push sex work back into the shadows, and will continue to make it less safe for all those involved. Sex work can be safe, clean, and beneficial to those of us who choose it as a career. It can be conducted ethically, honestly, and freely, with the full consent of all participants. It can be done right, in the privacy of our own homes, without exploitation; we just need to ensure that governments do not restrict our right to choose what we do with our own bodies.
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Now that the government's hand has been forced, let's hope it will take the view of prostitution it should have all along: seeing and treating it as work. Work that can involve danger and nuisance, yes. Work that most of us would strongly prefer our grown children did not choose. But work just the same. And work that will take place whether the government bans it or not. As the Supreme Court's decision recognized, harsh criminal penalties aren't an acceptable way to address the harms of the sex trade because these penalties just force prostitution underground, making life unconscionably dangerous for sex-workers.
Canada's Supreme Court struck down sections of the country's prostitution laws on Friday. The move is seen as a significant victory for sex workers seeking safer working conditions. Political pundits...
It's very simple, really. Legalizing prostitution does not mean we're normalizing it or even necessarily condoning it (for those "what has the world come to?" folks), but simply regulating it. Criminalizing sex work (and the related actions required to engage in it) has never eradicated prostitution and it never will. That's just wishful thinking. But better regulation ultimately establishes the conditions for increased protection of sex workers, and isn't that what it's all about? If legislation has the power to prevent or even simply decrease the odds of one less sex worker from being abused or killed, then what are we sitting around discussing?
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OTTAWA - The Supreme Court of Canada started the clock ticking Friday for Parliament to reshape social policy dealing with the world's oldest profession, as political battle lines were drawn.In a unan...
OTTAWA - Here are five things to know about Friday's Supreme Court of Canada ruling on prostitution:WHAT: The Supreme Court of Canada ruled that the key provisions of the country's anti-prostitution l...
On parliament hill yesterday, Harper's fifth Supreme nominee, Justice Marc Nadon of the Federal Court of Appeals, sat before a motley crew of inquisitors for a three-hour job interview. The questions exchanged ended up being less "hiring committee" and more "bring your dad to class day."
The Supreme Court of Canada is the highest court in the country, and the final court of appeals in the Canadian justice system. That's why the latest SCC appointment by Stephen Harper has ruffled so many feathers, as he appointed yet another male to replace Marie Deschamps on the bench, bringing the total count to three women, six men.