Today was the first of five scheduled days before the Ontario Court of Appeal, who are reviewing Justice Susan Himel’s striking down of Canada’s prostitution laws in Ontario. She issued her decision in September 2010 and there is a stay on the strike-down until at least June 17.
I attended most of the day and then went to the CBC for interviews. Now I’m back home and here I will stay until, I think, Wednesday. On that day Professor Young, my lawyer and head of our lawyers will reply to the federal and provincial governments’ arguments.
From what I saw and what I heard the federal government lawyer was not doing well with the judges. That comes as no surprise. The issue is whether Justice Himel erred. She took a year to prepare her decision. It was 131 pages. There were 88 volumes of evidence and transcripts. Hers was not a whimsical utterance. From what I and the press have seen so far it appears that it is standing up on appeal.
In my comments to the press I attacked the Prime Minister Harper. I believe he can stop deferring dealing with the fact that the present laws are a fiasco, whatever your views on prostitution, but I think he is afraid to do it. I look forward to when Parliament considers new laws, as I think they will. That is what I have fought for. But I am mad at Mr. Harper for his determination to keep intact the laws the Liberals kept intact for so long at such a high human cost. Nothing can be worse than what we have now, whatever your views.