This afternoon I testified before the Senate Committee on Justice and Constitutional Affairs. I gave my speech and then was ejected from the question and answer session for failing to stop speaking when the Chair asked me to. I apologize for losing my temper. I was barely able to read my speech because I was so angry at the government for parading victims with repeated irrelevant information and then organizations who were shilling for government handouts on which they are dependent. The shameful use of victims by the government in this process, and their disregard for life by ignoring court findings, refusing to listen to their own legal staff and refusing to answer questions from legitimate sources made me snap. I have already been told that people are sympathetic to the points I made and even to my outburst. They seemed to agree that the government can’t handle the truth. They have repeatedly shown disrespect for various institutions, processes and persons. The truth will win out.
Prime Minister Harper called me again. He offered to appoint me to the Senate. As a government whip. I turned him down. I might run into former clients on Parliament Hill.
I am the Bedford in Bedford Versus Canada, the constitutional challenge striking down the prostitution laws. I know the sex trade in Canada as well as anyone. I learned about the issues by working in and managing almost all aspects of the sex trade over 30 years. I have fought the prostitution laws for many of these years. I have been in jail because of the laws. I have been in court as a defendant or appellant more times than I care to remember. I am Canada’s most famous dominatrix and perhaps Canada’s most famous prostitute. I was in attendance for most of the sessions of the 3 years of the constitutional challenge. So, maybe I know what I am talking about.
In these brief remarks I will make only a few points of my own. You have a library of evidence against Bill C-36, and I don’t want to repeat or submit briefs saying what so many others have said so well.
First of all senators, when it comes to consenting adults, the state has no business in the bedrooms of the nation.
Second, the national debate currently under way has not given enough attention to sex trade workers who don’t want to exit and are there by choice. If you ask me today I will tell you about some of them. These women, and indeed male sex workers, should not be grouped in with those who want out.
Third, what exactly is Bill C-36 supposed to outlaw? What exactly would be illegal between consenting adults in private for money? The response from some supporters of Bill C-36 are words to the effect that “everyone knows” or “the courts would have to decide”. If everyone knows, why not answer the question? If the courts have to decide, why not refer the bill there immediately?
Fourth, why does the government claim they are making the purchase of sex illegal. If it was legal to purchase sex before, where did all the John Schools come from? This new law changes nothing in that regard.
Fifth. The Justice Minister was wrong to call the sex trade degrading. The clients are there by choice. They are half the transaction. Many are pillars of the community, often business leaders, professionals and politicians. Most sex trade workers do not consider their work degrading. Lumping them in with those who want out is not acceptable in a free society.
Sixth, those who ask if you want your daughter to be a sex worker might also ask if you want your daughter working in any number of poorly paid, dangerous or menial jobs while getting sexually harassed in the bargain. And while we are at it, I want my daughter to work in the sex trade, but it should be her choice. Not only that, I may want your daughter to work in the sex trade and for it to be her choice. If you don’t like that I suggest you mind your own business and move to a country where the choices of women in the bedroom are controlled by the government.
Senators, it is bad policy to direct scarce law enforcement resources to stop consenting adult behaviour in private – while tax evaders, wife beaters, terrorists and what have you go unpunished.
So Senators, please don’t allow Bill C-36 to pass. Stand up for your country first. Use laws you have to help those most in need, in and out of the sex trade.
Senators, please, please don’t allow Parliament to force Canadian women to only have sex for free.
Canada’s most famous dominatrix will be testifying before the Senate Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs at 1:15 on Wednesday September 10th. The hearings are in Room 257E, East Block, Parliament Buildings in Ottawa.
Miss Bedford a plaintiff in Bedford Versus Canada, the case which overturned some of the Canada’s major laws against prostitution. The final appeal was ruled on by the Supreme Court in December. The Court gave the government one year to replace the legislation
The hearings are about the Federal Government’s Bill C-36, the new set of laws being brought before Parliament in the coming session. The hearings follow the July hearings before the House of Commons Justice Committee, which Miss Bedford did not attend.
She will be available outside the hearing room prior to and after her session, which will conclude at 3:00. She will be joined by two other witnesses.
Miss Bedford has been in correspondence with Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne. She asked the Premier to refer Bill C-36 to the courts if the federal government continues to refuse to do so, in order to determine if it is constitutional – which most knowledgeable observers believe it is not. The Premier has publicly acknowledged this request and stated that her main concern about any new laws was safety. She has written to Miss Bedford since.
If you wish to write to or interview Miss Bedford she advises that you get in touch with her at terrijeanbedford @ gmail.com.
This message from the friends of Terri-Jean Bedford.
I am the Bedford in Bedford Versus Canada, the constitutional challenge striking down the prostitution laws. I was one of the 3 plaintiffs. I have patiently and carefully watched the first 4 days of prostitution law hearings by a committee of Parliament last week. But prior to that, I had plenty of opportunities to learn about the issues. During the challenge I sat in on most of the sessions, private and public, trial and appeals. I was a witness and was cross-examined. I read most of the evidence as well. As a plaintiff I had the right to be present at all times and have access to all the materials.
I also learned about the issues by working in and managing almost all aspects of the sex trade over 30 years. I have fought the prostitution laws for many of these years. I have been in jail because of the laws. I have been in court as a defendant or appellant more times than I care to remember. I am Canada’s most famous dominatrix and perhaps Canada’s most famous prostitute. So maybe I know what I am talking about. Here are my some of my thoughts about those 4 days.
I asked myself, what exactly do they want to outlaw? What would be illegal between consenting adults in private for money? The response? Words to the effect that “everyone knows” or “the courts would have to decide”. If everyone knows, why not answer the question? If the courts would have to decide, why not refer the bill there immediately?
I found myself wondering why almost no one mentioned that in the past the purchase of sex was already effectively illegal. If not, where did all the so-called John Schools come from?
I was very pleased the committee was reminded that the government spent years and millions of dollars defending the old laws as constitutional. That makes those in the government responsible either stupid or liars. Three levels of court told us that. Take your pick. Are they suddenly credible now?
I was revolted by the way Mr. MacKay was preaching about protecting women when he, as minister of national defence, was responsible for the armed forces and their open season on sexual harassment. If he didn’t know what was going on he is twice as guilty as if he was covering up. He has lost the moral authority to speak about protecting women.
I was glad to see clients of sex trade workers defended. I have known hundreds, many in the biblical sense and many at the end of my whip. Clients are not bad men just because they are clients. Most abusers of women are not clients.
I got the sense that some of the witnesses who spoke in support of C-36 sadly behaved as if they had been bought or were kissing up for funding, and of misfortunes being paraded gratuitously. That being said, I feel for those who have suffered. I have been there myself, in spades.
I was very, very pleased to hear that wider social and economic problems have to be addressed to help women who wish to exit the sex trade, and that the government is not proposing to do much.
Bill C-36 will fail. Changes to or removal of clauses from a fundamentally flawed bill are irrelevant. It is flawed in its intent. It will be flawed in its implementation. It is flawed as to whether it is itself legal or constitutional. It is flawed in that it will make things worse for women. Its passage will be a victory for human traffickers and organized crime.
At the same time, Mr. Harper has lost in a colossal way. This discussion will help to make people forget the positive things he achieved. This discussion will benefit his political opponents more than him. There are so many negative things being said about him, Mr. MacKay and the Conservative members of the committee, across the country. It is not possible, even to members of his base of support, to see the government’s handling of this matter as anything but dishonest, vindictive, incompetent and reckless.
It is only fitting that Mr. Harper is being punished by a dominatrix.
The Honourable Kathleen Wynne
Premier of Ontario
I am the Bedford in Bedford Versus Canada, the case that overturned Canada’s prostitution laws. Three court decisions, culminating in the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision in December 2013, confirmed that these laws were unconstitutional.
Prime Minister Harper was elected with a majority government. He has recently introduced Bill C-36 into Parliament to make illegal the purchase of sex acts, whatever that means, advertising of the sale of sex and numerous other related activities. I and many legal experts, informed activists, sex trade workers and concerned citizens believe the new bill is not constitutional.
The opposition parties in the House of Commons have asked that the Government refer the bill to the Supreme Court immediately after a final vote in the House because of this concern. To date the Government has refused.
You too were elected with a majority government. If and when the bill becomes law you can ask The Ontario Court of Appeal to render an opinion on whether it is constitutional. You can indicate any time before that that you will do so. You can also instruct crown attorneys not to lay charges under the bill, even in advance of it passing, and not to do so at least until a final court decision, possibly the Supreme Court, has ruled on whether the law, or its various parts, is constitutional.
I am asking that you do to do both. I am asking you to do both in the coming days. I am asking that you not say this is a federal matter. I am asking that you not say you need to study the matter. I am asking you not to delegate this decision. If you need more information please contact me and I will have eminent Canadians get in touch with you.
Already the horrible results of C-36 are being seen. Already some sex workers are leaving the safety of agencies and going back underground, meaning working alone without security or a safe location. Already some clients are seeking anonymity and secrecy, preventing screening and accountability. There are other terrible consequences looming and in progress. Premier, you know this means more murdered women at the hands of sexual predators – because of C-36. A simple search of the Internet will provide you with the opinions of lawyers, legislators, academics and the sex workers themselves of the dangers that C-36 creates – constitutional or not.
I know you realize the freedom that you enjoy in your personal life was once at issue as well, and were opposed by the same segments of society now behind C-36. Same sex marriage, same sex benefits and even same sex relationships were illegal not long ago, and some people would make them illegal again if they thought they could get away with it. Now the proposed requirement that women only have sex for free, that men can be entrapped, that local authorities will have unreasonable discretion, that freedom of speech concerning advertising the legal sale of sex will be threatened, and that personal friends and associates of women and men who sell sex but who are not involved in the business but can be implicated, is surely alarming to you both personally and as my Premier.
I am sharing this letter with the public. I believe they have a right to know that you have the option to act and have been asked.
I congratulate you on your election and thank you in advance for standing up for the people of Ontario against the appalling conduct of our federal government.
To all direct or indirect recipients
Please distribute or publish as desired
“Dominatrix Terri-Jean Bedford on the Proposed New Prostitution Law”
In 2007 I was one of three women who began a constitutional challenge of the prostitution laws. I am the Bedford in Bedford Versus Canada. Before that I was wrongly convicted under these laws, which were struck down in 2010 by Justice Himel. In 2012 the Ontario Court of Appeal basically supported her decision and in 2013 the Supreme Court, Chief Justice McLachlin writing, voted unanimously to support it as well. They said the laws were arbitrary, too vague, worked against stated objectives, endangered specific groups and put unfair restrictions on a legal activity, the sex trade. Unfair because no similar restrictions exist on other legal activities.
All through this Mr. Nicholson, the Justice Minister, insisted the laws were constitutional, while Mr. Harper hid from the media and said he didn’t know who I was. Who were they kidding? Perhaps the legal advisors they had then were the ones who are advising them now.
Finally Mr. Harper dumped Mr. Nicholson and replaced him with Mr. MacKay, possibly to reward Mr. MacKay for making the RCMP a hotbed of sexual harassment and coverups. Mr. MacKay, with Mr. Harper out of the country of course, tabled new laws to replace the ones struck down and made other amendments to the Criminal Code.
That was over a week ago. I have been reading and hearing a lot of reaction since that time. In fact, so much has been written and said about the proposed new law in recent days that I don’t need to tell you about it here, except to say again that it will not survive the courts, is not enforceable on any significant scale and is a gift to organized crime if it does stand up.
Word is getting around already that these new laws will bog down. In my opinion, the end result is in sight. The government will once again, as in the past, fail to legislate private sexual behaviour of consenting adults, abortion rights, rights to safe injection sites, mandatory minimum sentences, same sex marriage, inter-racial marriage, and so forth. This is just more politics at the expense of the vulnerable to kiss up to religious nuts. This hopefully last chapter is no surprise to me at all given the government of the day.
I don’t know to this day if any of these men have even read the 2010 judicial decision. If they did they would have realized that a three year trial of such depth would have provided some insights about needed changes, and they could have changed the law back then. Instead it is only now that they decide the purchase of sex should be illegal. They had three years to arrive at this brilliant insight. The judge in 2010 told them to act then if at all. They chose not to act, but to run, and they are doing it again.
This is because these new laws are actually designed to fail, and they know it, but it makes the issue go off their desk for a while. They do not seem to understand or care that the new laws create the same harms and injustices as the old ones, probably worse. Instead, they want to oppose prostitution, or appear to do so, at all costs – and the costs will be high.
If they were seeking to assist vulnerable Canadian women they would, as I have said, have read Justice Himel’s decision, which said, after a three year trial, that no new laws were needed. She said existing laws that were not challenged, laws against human trafficking, assault, confinement, coercion, and so forth, addressed the worst aspects of prostitution. The higher courts agreed because it is a waste of law enforcement resources to punish consenting women for not having sex for free. You would need a camera in every bedroom.
Yet, Mr. Harper and Mr. MacKay said more study and consultation, under their supervision, where the outcomes could be controlled, was needed. They were wrong, they never even said they looked at the evidence from the three year trial, or the recent submissions of hundreds of Canada’s leading intellectuals. They are fooling almost no one with their cynical and malicious partisanship. They don’t seem to care that they are throwing law enforcement into chaos and creating an open field for terrorists, child pornographers, burglars, drunk drivers and the like – by having the police chase after consenting women and their customers for not having sex for free.
Mr. MacKay called the sex trade degrading. He is wrong. For starters, the customers are there by choice. They are half the transaction. Most of the women who work in it are there by choice. How many people who clean toilets for minimum wage at a burger joint while getting sexually harassed in a poor job market are doing that by choice? The sex trade business is booming.
The fools who ask if you want your daughter to be a sex worker might also ask if they want their daughters joining the army abroad, changing bedpans in a nursing home, selling shoes, collecting garbage, or working in menial jobs while getting sexually harassed in the bargain. Or do you want your daughter to get married and be one of the ten percent of women who are battered by their partner – an issue Mr, Harper won’t get tough on for fear of offending his base. The people who use the “Do you want your daughter?” argument are fools, because they single out the sex trade.
And while we are at it, I want my daughter to work in the sex trade, but it is her choice. And on top of that, I want your daughter to work in the sex trade, for it to be her choice, and for you to mind your own business and move to a country where women are controlled very strictly so you can have your way there. Many women in the sex trade work their way through college, support their kids without daycare, do not work long hours and are their own boss – despite the laws that reduce safety, which were struck down despite the opposition of uninformed religious nuts and others.
Mr. MacKay said the sex trade has been around for thousands of years. So it appears he is a historian as well as a sex therapist. Sex is indeed very popular, as he and his father know. More brilliant insight. Unfortunately, if women don’t have sex for free they are, in his view, degraded. Sounds like Reverend Jimmy Swaggart and Reverend Jim Bakker, two television evangelists who preached like Mr. MacKay and Mr. Harper while being adulterous to say the least. The most sanctimonious usually have the most to hide. All in due time.
Did I mention that Mr. MacKay was minister in charge of the armed forces of Canada, where sexual harassment, assaults and coverups were rampant? Did I mention that women who came forward became victims of Mr. Harper and Mr. MacKay as well as of the abusers? Never have whistle-blowers been so persecuted in Ottawa. Now to top it off they are seeking to limit the conditions under which women in Canada can have sex in private with another consenting adult. All this while sending our troops abroad to fight for freedom, or criticizing non-democratic governments! Wow!
Oh, and did I mention that under the proposed new law a man will likely have more chance of going to jail for paying a woman for sex than for raping her on a date or beating his wife? Many women like being sex trade workers. Many women in other occupations don’t like what they do and dream of exit strategies from other occupations. Many more women, women with choices and means, would go into the sex trade if Mr. Harper and Mr. MacKay would allow them to protect themselves and stop calling the free choices of women in the bedroom degrading.
All that being said, I view victory as inevitable for our side. This outburst by the government at the expense of more dead women is one thing on the list of their criminal justice program. Like the others it will fail, and our police will be able to get back to dealing with real criminals, and not just chase after women who don’t have sex for free or the men who pay them.
I am asked if Mr. Harper is still calling me and asking me to accept a job in the Senate, as a government whip. I had to tell him to stop calling. I could not accept the job. I was afraid I would run into too many former clients on Parliament Hill.
Terri-Jean Bedford’s memoirs, Dominatrix on Trial, are available on line and at Chapters-Indigo stores.
Unlike the government I have read the document in question and had it carefully explained to me by experts. The new law would basically prohibit the purchasing of and advertising of sex for sale. It would also penalize persons who were in an exploitative relationship with sex trade workers. Mr. McKay called sex work degrading and said other means must also be added by other bodies to enable women to get out of the sex trade.
I see now why Mr. Harper told McKay to table the bill while he was out of the country. The bill is a rework of the old legislation and will fare no better. We may not even need a constitutional challenge to gut it. It spits in the face of the courts and judges will know this. It repeats the legal and safety shortcomings of the old laws. It does not even define what is and what is not a sex act. As a dominatrix I need to know this so I can punish Mr. Harper for such incompetence.
Mr. McKay called the sex trade degrading. Who the hell is he to tell women they have to only have sex for free? Who the hell is he to tell consenting adults what they can and cannot do in private? How can he stand for a ban on advertising an activity that is legal? I have news for him. Many women love being sex trade workers. Many men who visit sex trade workers, which include some well known members of his own party, are prominent and highly regarded members of society who love their families.
This is the same government that kept insisting that the old laws were constitutional and should be kept. Are we going to believe them now? Neither he nor Mr. McKay nor the dumped Mr. Nicholson would say if they had read the decision of Justice Himel which the Supreme Court endorsed. It said there are plenty of existing laws which address the worst aspects of prostitution, aside from the ones she struck down.
Politics is the oldest profession. Mr. Harper and Mr. McKay have trumped up incompetent and unethical legislation so they can blame the courts when all restrictions on the sex trade, as distinct from other forms of business, are finally removed. Just like the rest of his “Tough on Crime Agenda” this is a scam and ignores real measures that could be taken to protect Canadian women. Organized crime, human traffickers and exploitative pimps are celebrating today. Mr. Harper is encouraging the women in the sex trade to go underground, where these evil people lie in wait.
The survey is a scam. I say that despite the fact that the respondents agreed with us that the sale of sex should remain legal. The respondents were also not decisively against purchase of sex or in favour of charging all the associates of sex workers. So even this rigged survey, assuming we are being correctly informed about the response, does not give clear direction to the government. I say the survey was rigged and a scam for a number of reasons. Here are some of them. For one, who drew up the questions? Why a question asking if the government should tell consenting adults what they can do in private for money? Why wasn’t there a question asking what should be included in the definition of a sex act or sex? Why wasn’t there a question about which As to criminalizing the purchase of sex, I am including below an open letter from many leading Canadian intellectuals familiar with the issues at hand. I ask you to read the letter. Look as well at who received it and who sent it. It should convince you that if the government does introduce the so-called Nordic approach it will ensure that Mr. Harper and his ministers will be seen as cowards only looking out for themselves by doing what organized crime wants them to do: meaning preventing women from protecting themselves, ensuring they can only have sex for free and denying consenting adults in private basic liberty. We can do better than that. Ask the Supreme Court.
OPEN LETTER CALLING FOR DECRIMINALIZATION
OF SEX WORK IN CANADA AND
OPPOSITION TO CRIMINALIZING
THE PURCHASING OF SEX
Right Hon. Stephen Harper, Prime Minister, Leader of the Conservative Party of Canada,
Hon. Tom Mulcair, Leader of the Official Opposition, the New Democratic Party of Canada,
Hon. Justin Trudeau, Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada,
Mr. Jean-Francois Fortin, Interim Leader of the Bloc Québécois,
Hon. Elizabeth May, Leader of the Green Party of Canada,
Dear Sirs and Madam,
Re: Evidence-Based Call for Decriminalization of Sex Work in Canada and Opposition to Criminalizing the Purchasing of Sex
We, the undersigned, are profoundly concerned that the Government of Canada is considering the introduction of new legislation to criminalize the purchasing of sex. The proposed legislation is not scientifically grounded and evidence strongly suggests that it would recreate the same social and health-related harms of current criminalization. We join other sex worker, research, and legal experts across the country and urge the Government of Canada to follow the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision and support decriminalization of sex work as a critical evidence-based approach to ensuring the safety, health, and human rights of sex workers.
A large body of scientific evidence from Canada, Sweden and Norway (where clients and third parties are criminalized), and globally clearly demonstrates that criminal laws targeting the sex industry have overwhelmingly negative social, health, and human rights consequences to sex workers, including increased violence and abuse, stigma, HIV and inability to access critical social, health and legal protections. These harms disproportionately impact marginalized sex workers including female, Indigenous and street-involved sex workers, who face the highest rates of violence and murder in our country. In contrast, in New Zealand, since the passage of a law to decriminalize sex work in 2003, research and the government’s own evaluation have documented marked improvements in sex workers’ safety, health, and human rights.
Therefore, we call on the Government of Canada to join with global leaders, community, researchers and legal experts in rejecting criminalization regimes, including those that criminalize the purchase of sexual services, and instead support the decriminalization of sex work in Canada as scientifically-grounded and necessary to ensuring the safety, health, and human rights of sex workers. Below, we briefly outline our key concerns.
1. Criminalization of any aspect of sex work undermines access to critical safety, health and legal protections: The science is unequivocal that where sex work operates within a criminalized and policed environment –whether targeting sex workers, their working conditions, or the people they work with, for, or hire (clients, managers, bodyguards, or other third parties)– sex workers are placed in an adversarial relationship with police and are unable to access critical social, health and legal protections. Both peer review research and the Missing Women Commission of Inquiry Report have shown that within criminalization environments, stigma and discrimination of sex workers are major barriers for sex workers to reporting violence and abuse to authorities and accessing other critical health and social supports both in Canada and globally  In the official evaluation of the ban on purchasing sex in Sweden, sex workers clearly reported that the law increased police scrutiny, stigma and discrimination, and deterred reporting to police. In contrast, the New Zealand Prostitution Reform Act (2003) placed the human rights and occupational health and safety of sex workers as the central goal of their law reform; and government’s own evaluation showed sex workers were significantly more likely to report abuse to authorities following decriminalization.
2. Enforcement prohibiting communication in public spaces between sex workers and their clients directly elevates risks for violence, abuse and other health and social harms. Since the Communication Law was enacted in 1985 to reduce “public nuisance”, the number of sex workers who have gone missing and been murdered in Canadian cities has escalated dramatically, with disproportionate numbers of Indigenous women. Evidence has consistently shown that in order for sex workers and their clients to avoid police detection, sex workers have to work alone, in isolated areas and rush into vehicles before they have the opportunity to screen prospective clients or negotiate the terms of transactions, severely limiting their ability to avoid dangerous clients or refuse unwanted services (e.g. unprotected sex). The Supreme Court of Canada identified client screening as one of the most vital tools available to sex workers to protect their safety and health. In Sweden and Norway where laws criminalize the purchasing of sex, research has shown that enforcement targeting clients still forces sex workers to operate in clandestine locations to avoid police, increases their insecurity, and places them at continued and increased risk for violence, abuse and other health-related harms, including HIV infection. A report commissioned by City of Oslo in Norway (2012) found that the rate of strangulation and threat with a deadly weapon of sex workers had increased substantially in the three years since the implementation of the criminalization of clients.
3. Criminalization of any aspect of sex work hinders sex worker’s ability to establish safer workspaces, to work collectively, and engage third parties who can increase their safety. Both the Supreme Court of Canada and the two lower courts in Bedford clearly highlighted access to indoor spaces as a critical safety measure, based on two decades of evidence from local and international sex workers, academics, and legal experts. In Canada, an evaluation of safer indoor work spaces in 2012 within supportive low-income housing in Vancouver demonstrated that when sex workers have opportunities to move off-street, they can increase their control over their working conditions and are able to adopt safety and security measures that protect their health, safety and overall well-being. Safer indoor spaces also provide a critical connection with social, health, and legal supports, including accessing police protections in cases of violence or abuse. However, in a law enforcement environment where clients remain targets for arrest, criminalization would continue to prevent sex workers from bringing clients indoors to safer indoor spaces; thereby reproducing the same harms as the current criminalized model. By contrast, in New Zealand and New South Wales, Australia, where sex work is fully decriminalized, sex workers have access to safer indoor work spaces and have increased control over the conditions of their work.
4. Criminalizing the purchasing of sex does not reduce or eliminate prostitution. Following the ban on purchasing of sex, a number of evaluations of the criminalized regime from Sweden have found no evidence that the overall number of sex workers was reduced. Of note, public health researchers in New Zealand have repeatedly estimated the size of the sex industry in 5 locations, and compared with 1999 (prior to decriminalization), the data show no increase in overall numbers of sex workers.
5. Criminalizing any aspect of sex work undermines efforts to address human trafficking. The conflation of sex trafficking and sexual exploitation with sex work (the exchange of sex for money among consenting adults) undermines efforts to address these critical human rights issues. In the US and increasingly in Canada, funds intended for use to address human trafficking have been misused on anti-prostitution enforcement efforts. In two separate governmental evaluations of the Swedish criminalization regime, police reported that it creates an obstacle to prosecuting “traffickers and coercive pimps”. Furthermore, scientific evidence and the experience of anti-trafficking organizations suggest that criminalizing the purchase of sex renders it more difficult to assist individuals in situations of coercion and abuse.
Canadian researchers and academics call for evidence-based policies that are consistent with safety, health and human rights for sex workers and communities.
We are calling on the federal government to demonstrate leadership when addressing these challenging issues by promoting evidence-based laws and policies that protect the safety, health and human rights of sex workers. We encourage Canada to adopt the decriminalization of sex work recommendations of the World Health Organization, UNFPA, UNAIDS Advisory Group on HIV and Sex Work, and the Global Commission on HIV and the Law. We invite you to work together with sex workers, researchers and legal experts to develop evidence-based policy approaches that promote the safety, health, and human rights of sex workers.
We look forward to your response.
1. Gillian Abel, PhD | University of Otago | Christchurch, NZ
2. Barry Adam, PhD | University of Windsor | Windsor, ON
3. Anu Aggarwal, PhD
4. Laura Agustin, PhD | The Naked Anthropologist
5. Aziza Ahmed, MA, JD | Northeastern University School of Law | Boston, MA
6. Michel Alary, MD, PhD | Université Laval | Québec, QC
7. Sarah Allan, LLB/JD | BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS | Vancouver, BC
8. Paul Amar, PhD | University of California | Santa Barbara, CA
9. Solanna Anderson, MA | BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS | Vancouver, BC
10. Elena Argento, MPH | BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS | Vancouver, BC
11. Robert Argue, PhD | Professor Emeritus, Ryerson University | Sudbury, ON
12. Chris Atchison, MA | University of Victoria | Vancouver, BC
13. Cheryl Auger, MA, PhD (c) | Political Science Department, University of Toronto | Toronto, ON
14. Jacenta Bahri, MA
15. Brook Baker, JD | Northeastern University School of Law | Boston, MA
16. Natasha Bakht, LLM | University of Ottawa | Ottawa, ON
17. Gillian Balfour, PhD | Trent University | Peterborough, ON
18. Nandinee Bandyopadhyay, MA
19. Stefan Baral, MD | Centre for Public Health and Human Rights | Toronto, ON
20. Julie Bates, MSc | Urban Realists Planning & Occupational Health & Safety Consultants | Sydney, AU
21. Katharine Bausch, MA | Trent University | Toronto, ON
22. Ahmed Bayoumi, MD, FRCPC | Toronto, ON
23. Calum Bennachie, PhD | New Zealand Prostitute’s Collective | Wellington, NZ
24. Darcie Bennett, PhD | Pivot Legal Society | Vancouver, BC
25. Cecilia Benoit, PhD | University of Victoria | Victoria, BC
26. Benjamin Berger, JSD | Osgoode Hall Law School | Toronto, ON
27. Rachel Berger, PhD | Concordia University | Montreal, QC
28. Elizabeth Bernstein, PhD | Barnard College | New York, NY
29. Manjima Bhattacharjya, PhD | Mumbai, Maharashtra
30. Steven Bittle, PhD | University of Ottawa | Ottawa, ON
31. Gary Bloch, MD | University of Toronto | Toronto, ON
32. John Boan, PhD | University of Regina | Regina, SK
33. Mandy Bonisteel, RN, OMC | George Brown College | Toronto, ON
34. Colin Bonnycastle, MSW | University of Manitoba | Thompson, ON
35. Suzanne Bouclin, PhD | University of Ottawa | Ottawa, ON
36. Pierre Boulos, PhD | University of Windsor | Windsor, ON
37. Raven Bowen, MA | University of British Columbia | Vancouver, BC
38. Jason Boyd, PhD | Ryerson University | Toronto, ON
39. Mark Boyd, MD | University of New South Wales | Sydney, AU
40. Neil Boyd, LLM | Professor, School of Criminology, Simon Fraser University | Vancouver, BC
41. Borce Bozhinov, MD | STAR-STAR | Skopje, Macedonia
42. Ella Bradley, BSW | University of Windsor | Chatham, ON
43. Suzanne Brissette, MD | Centre hospitalier de l’université de Montréal | Montreal, QC
44. Deborah Brock, PhD | Associate Professor, York University | Toronto, ON
45. Chris Bruckert, PhD | Associate Professor, Department of Criminology, University of Ottawa | Ottawa, ON
46. Zabrina Brumme, PhD | Simon Fraser University | Vancouver, BC
47. Laurence Brunet, MSc | McGill University | Montreal, QC
48. Chloe Brushwood Rose, PhD | Associate Professor, Faculty of Education, York University | Toronto, ON
49. Licia Brussa, PhD | TAMPEP International Foundation | Amsterdam, Netherlands
50. Katherine Burress, RN | Casey House | Toronto, ON
51. Karen Busby, JD, LLM | Faculty of Law, University of Manitoba | Winnipeg, MB
52. Denton Callander, PhD | University of New South Wales | Sydney, AU
53. Kenneth Camargo, MD, PhD | Rio de Janeiro State University | Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
54. Thais Camargo, MSc
55. Deanna Campbell, MA, JD (c) | Vancouver, BC
56. Anna Carastathis, PhD | California State University Los Angeles | Los Angeles, CA
57. John Carlsleym MD, CM, MSc, CCFP, FRCPC | University of British Columbia | Vancouver, BC
58. Sarah Carlsley, MSc | Toronto, ON
59. Marie-Eve Carrier-Moisan, PhD | Carleton University | Ottawa, ON
60. Patrizia Carrieri, PhD | INSERM | Marseille, France
61. Claire Carter, PhD | University of Regina | Regina, SK
62. Connie Carter, PhD | Canadian Drug Policy Coalition | Victoria, BC
63. Sheila Cavanagh, PhD | York University | Toronto, ON
64. Helen Cerigo, MSc | Toronto, ON
65. Yao Chi Hang, MA | Chinese University of Hong Kong | Hong Kong, China
66. Alexandra Choby, PhD | University of Alberta | Edmonton, AB
67. Sandra Ko Hon Chu, LLM | Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network | Toronto, ON
68. Alison Clancey, MSW | Vancouver, BC
69. Deborah Clipperton, MA, CP | York University | Toronto, ON
70. Claudia Coeli, MD, PhD | Universidade Federal de Rio de Janeiro | Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
71. Marisa Collins, MD, MDSc, CCFP, FCFP | Pemberton, BC
72. Jason Congdon, MSc | School of Communication, Simon Fraser University | Vancouver, BC
73. Sandra Connely, MSc | Niagara Falls, ON
74. Bruno Cornellier, PhD | University of Winnipeg | Winnipeg, MB
75. Sonia Correa, MSc | Abai/ SPW | Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
76. Patrice Corriveau, PhD | University of Ottawa | Ottawa, ON
77. Anna-Louise Crago, PhD (c) | Trudeau Scholar, University of Toronto | Toronto, ON
78. Marion Crook, PhD | Gibsons, BC
79. Joanne Csete, PhD, MPH | Columbia University | London, UK
80. Anne Dagenais Guertin, MD | Gatineau, QC
81. Isolde Daiski, Ed.D | Toronto, ON
82. Darcy Dalgaard, M.Ed | Victoria, BC
83. Amber Dean, PhD | McMaster University | Hamilton, ON
84. Kathleen Deering, PhD | BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS | Vancouver, BC
85. Sonja Dolinsek, MA | Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin | Berlin, Germany
86. Basil Donovan, MD | Sydney Hospital | Sydney, AU
87. Liza Doyle, MPH | University of New South Wales | Sydney, AU
88. Putu Duff, MSc, PhD (c) | BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS | Vancouver, BC
89. Richard Elliot, LLM | Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network | Toronto, ON
90. Deanna England, MA, BA (Hons.) | University of Winnipeg | Winnipeg, MB
91. Danya Fast, PhD | BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS | Vancouver, BC
92. Maritza Felices-Luna, PhD | University of Ottawa | Ottawa, ON
93. Shawna Ferris, PhD | University of Manitoba | Winnipeg, MB
94. Thomas Fleming, PhD | Professor of Criminology | Wilfred Laurier University | Toronto, ON
95. Anna Forbes, MSS | Kensington, MD
96. Juliana Francis, MSc | Movimiento de Mujeres Feministas | Managua, Nicaragua
97. Margot Francis, PhD | Brock University | Toronto, ON
98. Jennifer Fraser, PhD | Ryerson University | Toronto, ON
99. May Friendman, PhD | Ryerson University | Toronto, ON
100. Caspar Friesen, BSc, MD | University of British Columbia | Victoria, BC
101. Robert Gaucher, PhD | University of Ottawa | Ottawa, ON
102. Mary Gavan, PhD | Vancouver, BC
103. Leah George, MD, MSc | Calgary, AB
104. Andree Germain, MSW | University of Ottawa | Ottawa, ON
105. Mark Gilbert, MD, MHSc | University of British Columbia | Vancouver, BC
106. Fiona Gold, RN | BC Centre for Disease Control | Vancouver, BC
107. Shira Goldenberg, PhD | University of British Columbia | Vancouver, BC
108. Tonantzin Goncalves, PhD | UNISINOS | Porto Alegra, Brazil
109. Todd Gordon, PhD | Society, Culture and Environment, Laurier University Brantford | Toronto, ON
110. Kelly Gorkoff, PhD | University of Winnipeg | Winnipeg, MB
111. Andrew Gray, MD | McGill University | Montreal, QC
112. Devon Grayson, MLIS | Vancouver, BC
113. Pauline Greenhill, PhD | University of Winnipeg | Winnipeg, MB
114. Silvia Guillemi, MD | BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS | Vancouver, BC
115. Gordon Guyatt, MD, MSc | McMaster University | Dundas, ON
116. Devon Haag, MSc | Vancouver, BC
117. Thomas Haig, PhD | Université du Québec à Montréal | Montreal, QC
118. Helga Hallgrimsdottir, PhD | University of Victoria | Victoria, BC
119. Julie Ham, MSW, PhD (c) | Monash University, Melbourne AU
120. Stacey Hannem, PhD | Department of Criminology, Wilfred Laurier University | Branford, ON
121. Ross Harvey, FMP | Mission, BC
122. Ashley Heaslip, MD
123. Robert Heynen, PhD | Department of Communications Studies, York University | Toronto, ON
124. Heidi Hoefinger, PhD | John Jay College, City University of New York | New York, NY
125. Robert Hogg, PhD | Simon Fraser University / BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS | Vancouver, BC
126. Kirby Huminuik, PhD (c) | Vancouver, BC
127. Sarah Hunt, PhD | Camosun College | Victoria, BC
128. Mary Ives, RN, MHS | Fraser Health Authority | Chilliwack, BC
129. Shahnaz Islamova, MSc | Tais Plus NGO | Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan
130. Mikael Jansson, PhD | University of Victoria | Victoria, BC
131. Leslie Jeffrey, PhD | University of New Brunswick St. John | Saint John, NB
132. Bryan Jones, PhD | Simon Fraser University | Vancouver, BC
133. Darlene Juschka, PhD | University of Regina | Regina, SK
134. Angela Kaida, PhD | Simon Fraser University | Vancouver, BC
135. Lara Karaian, PhD | Institute of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Carleton University | Pakenham, ON
136. Mohammad Karamouzian, MSc | University of British Columbia | Vancouver, BC
137. Lisa Kelly, JD, JSD (c) | Harvard Law School | Vancouver, BC
138. Kamala Kempadoo, PhD | Professor, York University | Toronto, ON
139. Perry Kendall, MD | Victoria, BC
140. Lisa Kerr, JD, LLM, JSD (c) | New York University | Vancouver, BC
141. Thomas Kerr, PhD | BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS/ University of British Columbia | Vancouver, BC
142. Ummni Khan, JD, MA, LLM, SJD | Carleton University | Ottawa, ON
143. Julie Kille, BScN, RN | Vancouver, BC
144. Alexandra King, MD | Vancouver, BC
145. Malcolm King, PhD | Simon Fraser University | Vancouver, BC
146. Gary Kinsman, PhD | Department of Sociology, Laurentian University | Sudbury, ON
147. Mieke Koehoorn, PhD | Vancouver, BC
148. Steven Kohm, PhD | University of Winnipeg | Winnipeg, MB
149. Kat Kolar, PhD (c) | University of Toronto | Toronto, ON
150. Rodney Knight, MSc, PhD (c) | University of British Columbia | Vancouver, BC
151. Andrea Krusi, MSc | BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS | Vancouver, BC
152. Marc Lafrance, PhD | Concordia University | Montreal, QC
153. Tammy Landau, PhD | Ryerson University | Toronto, ON
154. Jeffrey Langer, MA | Laurentian University | Sudbury, ON
155. Rosanna Langer, PhD | Laurentian University | Sudbury, ON
156. Jennifer Lavoie, PhD | Wilfred Laurier University | Brantford, ON
157. Stephanie Law, MJ | McGill University | Montreal, QC
158. Tuulia Law, MA | University of Ottawa | Ottawa, ON
159. Robert Leckey, PhD | McGill University | Montreal, QC
160. Cory Legassic, MA | Dawson College | Montreal, QC
161. Lucie Lemonde, PhD | Université du Québec à Montréal | Montreal, QC
162. Annalee Lepp, PhD| Chair, Department of Women’s Studies, University of Victoria/ Director, GAATW Canada | Victoria, BC
163. Jacqueline Lewis, PhD | University of Windsor | Windsor, ON
164. Katherine Lippel, LLL, LLM | Canada Research Chair on Occupaional Health and Safety Law | Montreal, QC
165. Abby Lippman, PhD | McGill University | Montreal, QC
166. Mona Loufty, MD, FRCPC, MPH | Women’s College Research Institute; Associate Professor, Department of Medicine, University of Toronto | Toronto, ON
167. John Lowman, PhD | Simon Fraser University | West Vancouver, BC
168. Tara Lyons, PhD | University of British Columbia | Vancouver, BC
169. Gayle MacDonald, PhD | St. Thomas University | Fredericton, NB
170. Josephine MacIntosh, PhD | University of Victoria | Victoria, BC
171. Shoshana Magnet, PhD | University of Ottawa | Ottawa, ON
172. Janet Maher, PhD | Toronto, ON
173. Lisa Maher, PhD | Kirby Institute for Infection and Immunity/ University of New South Wales | Sydney, AU
174. Kristina Mahnicheva, MD | Tais Plus NGO | Dushanbe, Tajikistan
175. Olga Marques, PhD | University of Ontario Institute of Technology | Oshawa, ON
176. Stephanie Marsan, MD | Université de Montréal | Montreal, QC
177. Brandon Marshall, PhD | Brown University | Providence, RI
178. Jessica Martin, MA | York University | Toronto, ON
179. Corinne Mason, PhD | Brandon University | Brandon, MB
180. Bradley Mathers, MBChB, MD | Sydney, AU
181. Eleanor Maticka-Tyndale, PhD | University of Windsor | Windsor, ON
182. Jennifer Matthews, MSc | BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS | Vancouver, BC
183. Sergio Maulen, MD | Buenos Aires, Argentina
184. Ruth McCarrell, RN | Providence Health Care | North Vancouver, BC
185. Bill McCarthy, PhD | Professor, Department Chair, Department of Sociology, University of California Davis | Davis, CA
186. William McCready, MD | Thunder Bay, ON
187. Drew McDowell, MA, PhD (c) | University of Calgary | Calgary, AB
188. Nicole McFadyen, PhD (c) | Toronto, ON
189. Helen Meekosha, MA | University of New South Wales | Sydney, AU
190. Nengeh Maria Mensah, PhD | Professeure, École de travail social, Université du Québec à Montréal | Montreal, QC
191. Emily van der Meulen, PhD | Department of Criminology, Ryerson University | Toronto, ON
192. Erin Michalak, PhD | Vancouver, BC
193. Esther Miedema, PhD | Amsterdam, Netherlands
194. Robin Milhausen, PhD | University of Guelph | Guelph, ON
195. Cari Miller, PhD | Simon Fraser University | Vancouver, BC
196. M-J Milloy, PhD | University of British Columbia | Vancouver, BC
197. Julio Montaner, MD, FRCPC | Professor, Department of Medicine, University of British Columbia; Director, BC Centre of Excellence in HIV/AIDS; Past President, International AIDS Society | Vancouver, BC
198. Melissa Munn, PhD | Coldstream, BC
199. Michelle Munro, MSc | Agrteam Canada | Ottawa, ON
200. Laura Murray, MHS | Columbia University | Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
201. Viviane Namaste, PhD | Simone de Beauvoir Institute, Concordia University | Montreal, QC
202. Vrinda Narain, DCL | McGill University | Montreal, QC
203. Ariel Nesbitt, MPH | Oak Tree Clinic Research | Vancouver, BC
204. Ruth Neustifter, PhD, RMFT | University of Guelph | Guelph, ON
205. Zoe Newman, PhD | Toronto, ON
206. Trent Newmeyer, PhD | Brock University | Toronto, ON
207. N. Nicole Nussbaum, LLB | London, ON
208. Nadia O’Brien, MPH | Université de Montréal | Montreal, QC
209. Tamara O’Doherty, MA, JD | Simon Fraser University | Langley, BC
210. Marcia Oliver, PhD | Wilfred Laurier University | Toronto, ON
211. Maggie O’Neill, PhD | Professor, Durham University | Durham, UK
212. Treena Orchard, PhD | University of Western Ontario | London, ON
213. Michelle Owen, PhD
214. Katrina Pacey, LLB, MA | Pivot Legal Society | Vancouver, BC
215. Charles-Maxime Panaccio, SJD | Faculty of Law, University of Ottawa | Ottawa, ON
216. Colette Parent, PhD | Université d’Ottawa | Gatineau, QC
217. San Patten, MSc | Mount Allison University | Halifax, NS
218. Kathryn Payne, MA | George Brown College | Toronto, ON
219. Monika Penner, M.Ed | Edmonton, AB
220. Isabelle Perreault, PhD | University of Ottawa | Ottawa, ON
221. Heather Peters, PhD | Quesnel, BC
222. Justin Piché PhD | University of Ottawa | Ottawa, ON
223. Phillip Pilon, MA | York University | Toronto, ON
224. Catherine Pirkle, PhD | Université Laval | Québec, QC
225. Nancy Pollak, MALS | Langara College | Vancouver, BC
226. Susan Price, RSW
227. Rebecca Raby, PhD | Brock University | St. Catharines, ON
228. Momin Rahman, PhD | Department of Sociology, Trent University | Peterborough, ON
229. Genevieve Rail, PhD | Simone de Beauvoir Institute, Concordia University | Montreal, QC
230. Rajive Rajan, MD
231. Frances Ravensbergen, PhD | QC
232. Cheryl Reed-Elder, PhD
233. Alexandra Regier, MA | Vancouver, BC
234. William Reimer, PhD | Concordia University | Laval, QC
235. Dan Reist, MTh | University of Victoria | Mission, BC
236. Jamie Reschny, PhD (c) | University of Northern British Columbia | Prince George, BC
237. Lindsey Richardson, D.Phil | BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS | Vancouver, BC
238. Megan Rivers-Moore, PhD | Carleton University | Ottawa, ON
239. Dominique Robert, PhD | University of Ottawa | Ottawa, ON
240. Pascale Robitaille, MA | Monteal, QC
241. Annika W. Rodriguez, M.Phil | International Community Health| Oslo, Norway
242. Becki Ross, PhD | University of British Columbia | Vancouver, BC
243. Eric Roth, PhD | University of Victoria | Victoria, BC
244. Sean Rourke, PhD | University of Toronto | Toronto, ON
245. Perrine Roux, PhD | INSERM | Marseille, France
246. Melanie Rusch, PhD | Island Health | Victoria, BC
247. Trish Salah, PhD | Assistant Professor, Department of Women’s and Gender Studies, University of Winnipeg | Winnipeg, MB
248. Anne Salomon, PhD | Simon Fraser University | Vancouver, BC
249. Joan Sangster, PhD | Trent University | Peterborough, ON
250. Ginetta Salvalaggio, MD, MSc
251. Alejandra Sarda-Chandiramani, MD | Mama Cash | Buenos Aires, Argentina
252. Cristine Sardina, MSJ | Desiree Alliance | Tucson, AZ
253. Michael Schwandt, MD, MPH | University of Saskatchewan | Saskatoon, SK
254. Jamie Scott, MD, PhD | Simon Fraser University | Port Moody, BC
255. Javier Segura del Pozo, MD | Madrid City Council | Madrid, Spain
256. Kate Shannon, PhD, MPH | Associate Professor of Medicine, University of British Columbia; Director, Gender and Sexual Health Initiative, BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS | Vancouver, BC
257. Frances Shaver, PhD | Professor, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Concordia University | Montreal, QC
258. Alexis Shotwell, PhD | Carleton University | Ottawa, ON
259. Jean Shoveller, PhD | University of British Columbia | Vancouver, BC
260. Eric Shragge, PhD | Concordia University (retired) | Montreal, QC
261. Jacob Siegel, MPH | University of British Columbia | Vancouver, BC
262. Reed Siemieniuk, MD | Medical Reform Group | Toronto, ON
263. Joel Simpson, PMP, LLM | Society Against Sexual Orientation Discrimination (SASOD) | Georgetown, Guyana
264. Paul Simpson, PhD | Kirby Institute for Infection and Immunity/ University of New South Wales | Sydney, AU
265. Bruno Spire, MD, PhD | INSERM & AIDES | Marseille, France
266. Malcolm Steinberg, MD | Simon Fraser University | Vancouver, BC
267. Kyle Stevens, MD | Kelly Ave Medical Cllinic | Summerland, BC
268. Steffanie Strathdee, PhD | Carlsbad, CA
269. Marie-Eve Sylvestre, PhD | Faculté de droit, Université d’Ottawa| Ottawa, ON
270. Alison Symington, LLM | Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network | Toronto, ON
271. Jason T., MSc | Toronto, ON
272. Marliss Taylor, RN | Streetworks | Tofield, AB
273. Sophie Thériault, PhD | Faculté de droit – Université d’Ottawa | Ottawa, ON
274. Athena Thiessen, MFA | Winnipeg, MB
275. Gerald Thomas, PhD | Centre for Addictions Research of British Columbia | Summerland, BC
276. Heidi Thomas, RN, BScN | H’ulh-etun Health Society | Duncan, BC
277. Sarah Thompson, PhD | Department of Criminology, Ryerson University | Toronto, ON
278. Kimberly Thomson, MA | University of British Columbia | Vancouver, BC
279. Ryan Thoreson, D.Phil | Yale Law School | New Haven, CT
280. Jim Thorsteinson, MD | North Vancouver, BC
281. Meaghan Thumath, RN, MPH | University of British Columbia School of Nursing | Vancouver, BC
282. Louise Toupin, PhD | Université du Québec à Montréal | Montreal, QC
283. Steven Tufts, PhD | Toronto, ON
284. Laura Track, LLB | Vancouver, BC
285. Francine Tremblay, PhD | Concordia University | Deux-Montagnes, QC
286. Kathryn Trevenen, PhD | University of Ottawa | Ottawa, ON
287. Mark Tyndall, MD | University of Ottawa | Ottawa, ON
288. Mariana Valverde, PhD | University of Toronto | Toronto, ON
289. Kim Varma, PhD | Ryerson University | Toronto, ON
290. Tamara Vukov, PhD | Université de Montréal | Montreal, QC
291. Stephanie Wahab, PhD | Best Practices Policy Project | Portland, OR
292. Pamela Walker, PhD | Carleton University | Ottawa, ON
293. Kai Wang, MD | Toronto, ON
294. Grant Wardell-Johnson, BEc, LLB, CTA | Sydney, AU
295. Thomas Waugh, PhD | Program in Sexuality, Concordia University | Montreal, QC
296. Kevin Wilson, BA (Hons.), MSc. (c) | Dalhousie University | Halifax, NS
297. Yasmin Winsor, MScN | BC Centre for Disease Control | Vancouver, BC
298. Teresa Whitaker, PhD | Sex Workers’ Alliance Ireland | Dublin, Ireland
299. Melissa Autumn White, PhD | UBC Okanagan | Kelowna, BC
300. Stephen Whittle, LLB, MA, PhD | Manchester Metropolitan University | Stockport, England
301. Robert Winston, MD, FRCPC, FACP | BC Cancer Agency | Surrey, BC
302. Peter Woods | Emeritus Mayor | Patron Local Government New South Wales | Sydney, AU
303. Kristopher Woofter, PhD (c) | Concordia University/ Dawson College | Montreal, QC
304. Sean Yaphe, MPH | McGill University | Montreal, QC
305. Alan Young, LLM | Associate Professor, Osgoode Hall Law School | Toronto, ON
306. Kate Zinszer, MSc | Montreal, QC
I believe that the government has the information it needs to recognize that the Nordic approach will replicate the harms of the laws just struck down and won’t even be legal in itself. They also do not want to have the burden of telling us what we cannot do as consenting adults in private. So two things. If they do bring the Nordic model, meaning say they are targeting customers and associates of sex workers, it means they are just kicking the can down the road again, so they can say the courts forced them to decriminalize sex work. If they don’t, they will finally in effect decriminalize it, and just bring in laws targeting the negative aspects of the sex trade such as human trafficking. Laws like that are already there, so it means they say they will enforce existing laws for a change, or actually do something to protect women. Either way, we have won, will win and there is no going backwards. When the new law comes out, I will make sure I read it and ask what other informed observers think of it before I comment publicly. That is something those opposed to our challenge should consider trying some time.
I have seen and been told that there has been a constant stream of articles saying the government should not criminalize the purchase of sex or being a pimp. It appears that a couple of items in favour of that approach, such as put forward by Member of Parliament Joy Smith, have been demolished. Other articles have revealed how police in several areas of Canada are cooperating in treating the sex trade, whatever that is, just like any other business. So the question going forward is who gets hurt. If Mr. Harper brings in new laws, instead of basically enforcing remaining laws for a change, organized crime and bad pimps and so forth will prosper and celebrate. If he does what we have advocated, women will be safer and better off in every respect. If he finds the idea of women being paid for sex acts (which he has yet to define) wrong, he should look at the booming businesses of strip clubs, massage parlours, dungeons, and escort agencies that have flourished since he came into office. It’s a little late in the game to get up on a high moral horse. I’m up on mine, and I think women should not be legally required to perform sex acts only for free.