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Supreme Court Of Canada Abandons Those Forced Into Prostitution


Terri-Jean Bedford, left, and Valerie Scott,  and a third woman, launched the constitutional challenge of Canada's anti-prostitution laws.

Terri-Jean Bedford, left, and Valerie Scott, and a third woman, launched the constitutional challenge of Canada’s anti-prostitution laws.

What is up Canada and what was the supreme court of Canada thinking when it rendered its decision, making most of Canada’s anti prostitution laws invalid in one years time?  The harm for this decision will be felt for years to come by those that are not in it of their own choosing.  This throwing out of most of the laws prohibiting the selling of sex for money and the living off of the avails of it will serve to embolden pimps, gangs and organized crime and will hurt runaway children caught up by pimps and terrorized into prostitution they are often sent to madams where they will be off of the street and out of the eyes of police walking the beat.  Pimps will open up whore houses, because they are a legal way for them to do business and who will be going around to check all of the locations that will be springing up as soon as the laws go down and at what cost and to whom?

“The high court struck down all three prostitution-related prohibitions — against keeping a brothel, living on the avails of prostitution and street soliciting — as violations of the constitutional guarantee to life, liberty and security of the person,” wrote Mike Blanchfield, in The Canadian Press.

The police are already overwhelmed in this country and are facing cuts to their budgets be they city police, provincial or the RCMP so where is the money going to come from to enforce any rules and regulations the government will have to impose on every bawdy house if it is to try to ensure that  the now legal bawdy houses provide a safe environment for their workers and a healthy, disease free staff for their clients to choose from?  I guess the government will want its end of the earnings so I am guessing that these whore houses will be taxed as any other legitimate business is and the government will make money selling the necessary permits to anyone wanting to open a bawdy house and I would guess that the workers will be registered and will be required to pay taxes as well which should raise some pretty interesting questions like are these tax paying sex trade workers eligible for unemployment insurance, welfare and will they be governed by the same laws as any other Canadian worker and entitled to all of labor rights found in the Canadian Constitution?

What of those Canadians who have been imprisoned for living off of the avails of prostitution although we now know that it is not a crime in Canada and has never been a crime in Canada according to the supreme court of Canada will they be made whole for the loss of life they were put behind bars illegally and their criminal record erased and expunged?  Will the possessions of all sex workers that were taken from them be returned to them? (The money, the houses, the jewelry etc.) Does the decision of the supreme court of Canada that strikes down this countries anti-prostitution laws on the grounds that they are unconstitutional open the government up to a class action suit from all of the sex trade workers throughout Canadian history who have had their constitutional rights violated willfully and knowingly by the police and the courts? I am not being a wise guy here, but raising a question, because if the court says that Canada has no right and never did to treat selling sex as a crime because it is not illegal to sell sex for money in Canada, than the police, the courts and the country has wronged a group of innocent people for a very long time intentionally and there is nothing in the decision that would stop sex workers from seeking damages from the government, the police, or the courts.

How do we protect the people who are being forced to into selling themselves for money, by pimps and organized crime? Am I to understand that a man or woman will be able to legally buy the sexual services of a child depending on the age requirement in every province for consensual sex legally a year from now, without fear of being arrested by the police and the courts sending him/her to jail? (In Quebec the age for consensual sex is 14 years old)  All that would be needed to have is a signed contract or consent form or perhaps a video taped interview and the pimp and the madam would be able to claim consent and who would be able to prove if the signature was coerced or given freely?

Finally what does this say about Canada as a country and Canadians as a people?  What does it say about us morally, about our values and our ability to see right from wrong, if we say that it is okay to prostitute oneself for money?  Why stop the drug addict from taking dope by making taking dope a crime and the selling of that dope illegal and what is the difference? Why is it legal to intervene in anything that a consenting adult choose to engage in or make a living doing as long as there is informed mutual consent on all sides of the equation?  Does society not have an obligation to protect the weak and more fragile from those who would prey on them and feed off of them, or are we now like the beast in the wild?  Can a society flourish in an atmosphere of anything goes, where there is no moral compass, no value system, no right and wrong and where only constitutional rights count.

What of the rights of those of the majority of Canadians who do not think that prostitution should be legal and do not want a whore house on every block, the majority of Canadians for whom the anti-prostitution laws were put into place for in the first place?  These laws were not arbitrarily put into place at the whim of some politician.  The anti-prostitution laws were hard-fought for and enacted because Canadians thought that:

  • It was immoral to buy sex from a human being whether they wanted to sell themselves or not.
  • It was necessary to protect those who were being forced into selling sex for money by another person or other persons.
  • It was necessary to stop the spreading of sexually transmitted diseases.

If the highest court in the land thought that it was doing the right thing and making it safer for sex trade workers by striking down the anti-prostitution laws all I have to say is that I think they were very wrong; now where there used to be consequences and some means of deterrent and protection under the law in a year there will be none. I have to ask again, “What is up Canada?”

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