On Monday, March 26th, the Ontario Court of Appeal released its decision in the prostitution challenge. The court ruled on the constitutionality of the three sections of the Criminal Code that outlaw certain parts of the sex trade. The section outlawing solicitation was upheld. The section outlawing “living off the avails” of prostitution was amended to only apply to pimps, and the section outlawing “keeping a bawdy house” was thrown out.
The ruling has moved the discussion of this issue in a better direction than the lower court ruling; however, it falls way short of where it should be. The legalization of brothels ignores the inherently dangerous and exploitative nature of prostitution. Allowing prostitution to thrive behind closed doors does not make it safer – it simply drives the trade underground where most abuses can’t be seen.
For more information about the prostitution issue and to easily contact your MP about this troubling issue, click here. Please do take the time to email your MP – this is an issue that they, and not the courts, should be engaging in.
*A deeper analysis of this judgment is forthcoming; ARPA Canada is engaged in the National Conference this week and is unable to provide a full breakdown of the judgment until a later date. The IMFC has released a press release on the subject, available here.