Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Ontario Appeal Court strikes down ban on brothels
CBC News ^ | Mar 26, 2012 | Geoff Nixon

Posted on 03/26/2012 9:23:11 PM PDT by JerseyanExile

Ontario's Court of Appeal has ruled that sex workers should be able to legally take their trade indoors and pay staff to support them.

The court released a decision Monday on an appeal of Superior Court Judge Susan G. Himel's high-profile ruling that three provisions of the Criminal Code pertaining to prostitution should be struck down on the grounds that they are unconstitutional.

The Ontario appeal court agreed with two-thirds of Himel's ruling, namely that the provisions prohibiting common bawdy-houses and living off the avails of prostitution, are both unconstitutional in their current form.

But the court disagreed that the communicating provision must be struck down, meaning that it "remains in full force" and the existing ban on soliciting will continue.

Both Justice Minister Rob Nicholson and Ontario Attorney General John Gerretsen indicated that their respective departments would review the decision before deciding how to proceed.

"As the Prime Minister has said, prostitution is bad for society and harmful to communities, women and vulnerable persons," Nicholson said in a statement released by his office.

"We are reviewing the decision and our legal options."

The Ontario court said it will strike the word “prostitution” from the definition of "common bawdy-house," as it applies to Section 210 of the Criminal Code, which otherwise prevents prostitutes from offering services out of fixed indoor locations such as brothels or their homes.

However, the court said the bawdy-house provisions would not be declared invalid for 12 months, so that Parliament can have a chance to draft Charter-compliant provisions to replace them, if it chooses to do so.

Valerie Scott of Sex Professionals of Canada said most sex workers in the industry today are already operating indoors.

While Scott said she welcomed the court’s ruling, she expressed concern for sex workers who are still out on the street.

"I do worry about my street colleagues. What are they going to do?" Scott said Monday at a news conference in Toronto.

"We have to figure out something to make these women and men safe."

Terri-Jean Bedford, a dominatrix and former prostitute, said sex workers are much better off working indoors where they do not face the same risks.

"When you are out on the street, the laws are horrible … and they move people into the shadows," Bedford told CBC News Network Monday.

The court also said that the prohibition of living off the avails of prostitution – as spelled out in Section 212(1)(j) of the Criminal Code – should pertain only to those who do so “in circumstances of exploitation,” and will be amended to reflect that.

The changes to the "living-off-the-avails" provision will not come into effect for 30 days.

Scott said that allowing women to work with others and hire staff is another way of making sex work safer.

"When you have people around, generally, you don't see as much violence.”

In the preamble to its judgment, the court said prostitution is legal in Canada, with “no law that prohibits a person from selling sex, and no law that prohibits another from buying it.”

While the court acknowledged that “prostitution is a controversial topic, one that provokes heated and heartfelt debate about morality, equality, personal autonomy and public safety,” it said the questions before it were about whether the laws being challenged were unconstitutional or not.

Lawyer Alan Young, who represented three women who brought forward the application to have the provisions declared unconstitutional, said the appeal court’s decision had ushered in a "new era" for sex workers.

"I am thrilled that the Court of Appeal has done the right thing," Young told reporters after the court released its judgment Monday.

"They may not have gone as far as the Superior Court judge, but when you actually look at the result, they’ve done the right thing in terms of modifying the law so that sex workers will not face the same risks they face on a daily basis."

Nikki Thomas, the executive director of Sex Professionals of Canada, said sex workers have long been living in a legal limbo in which prostitution is legal but many particular modes of operation are not.

Thomas said now is the time for sex workers to make their voices heard, while their issues are on the agenda.

"We cannot wait for the Supreme Court [of Canada] to rule before we all of a sudden decide that this is something that needs to be addressed," Thomas said.

"The public overwhelmingly supports legal reform. Nobody thinks that the laws on the books are good laws and the absence of good laws is not an excuse to keep those bad laws on the books."

TOPICS: Canada; Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs
KEYWORDS: ontario; prostitution

1 posted on 03/26/2012 9:23:19 PM PDT by JerseyanExile
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: JerseyanExile

Elliot Spitzer and Anthony Weiner say, “Hallelujah”. Canada, here we a cum.

2 posted on 03/26/2012 9:32:19 PM PDT by MadMax, the Grinning Reaper
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: JerseyanExile




3 posted on 03/26/2012 9:40:01 PM PDT by Jeff Chandler (I tried to buy a hoodie today but the store manager said they had all been shoplifted.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: JerseyanExile

Once again the courts instantly legalize decadence. Why who could have known? The folks who wrote the constitutions really intended that abortion, homosexual marriage and prostitution were really legal practices. Just a silly oversight not to mention the activities. BTW just what is wrong with that court. How could they forget to sanction pedophilia? Western culture is in a terminal decline.

4 posted on 03/26/2012 9:48:32 PM PDT by allendale
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: allendale

“Western culture is in a terminal decline.”

There’s less and less left worth defending.

Could the Muslims be right?

5 posted on 03/26/2012 9:53:23 PM PDT by aquila48
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: MadMax, the Grinning Reaper
Technically, this ruling only applies in Ontario — it will, doubtless, be challenged at the SCOC.

Prostitution has been legal for some time, here in Canada. Solicitation in a public place remains illegal (i.e. street hooking is verboten). It was already legal for prostitutes to visit “clients” at their hotel room, etc. All that this changes is that it will also be legal for prostitutes to “entertain” at a brothel. They will also be able to hire bodyguards.

Overall, IMHO it looks like a reasonable ruling. It is intended to improve safety for the women. We're pretty sensitive here about the dangers prostitutes face, ever since the “missing women” thing in Vancouver came to light. (A sick @#*$* killed at least 52 prostitutes, and fed many of them to his pigs.)

6 posted on 03/26/2012 9:53:50 PM PDT by USFRIENDINVICTORIA
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: aquila48

“There’s less and less left worth defending. Could the Muslims be right?”

My thoughts exactly; Muslims aren’t right, but this isn’t either (and certainly not worth dying for). I know this is a Canadian story, but it has parallels with the US: As we become a country where deviance is heralded as better then the norm, where race and gender determine whether or not someone gets into a school, lands a job or promotion, obtains a business loan, etc., what stake does a heterosexual male of European descent even have in it?

Outside of my tribe, I couldn’t care less for most of the people around me; I’ve become completely indifferent to them. I still pay taxes and vote, but along a very narrow range of issues that matter to me personally. The concept of a nation or shared heritage has been completely eradicated (deliberately) by America’s Bolsheviks.

7 posted on 03/26/2012 10:21:52 PM PDT by kearnyirish2
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: kearnyirish2

“...what stake does a heterosexual male of European descent even have in it?”

The ironic thing is that it has been us (the white heterosexual males) who have slowly (and voluntarily) given up our power and values.

I came to the following realization a while back.

“You only own that which you are willing and able to defend.”

We have failed to defend what we had, and watch despondently as the mob plunders what we have left.

8 posted on 03/26/2012 10:38:42 PM PDT by aquila48
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: JerseyanExile

“Paying staff to support them” is now legal. Meaning a maid to change the sheets?

No it means a pimp. As in, “you owe us $600 for the room, girl, and $1000 from last week.”

9 posted on 03/26/2012 10:53:11 PM PDT by heartwood
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]


I’m not against legal prostitution. Only pointing out that a lot of Democratic politicians just got new passports.

I love Canada but you’ve got to do something about the Frenchies. They will be the death of you (I remember LaPorte).

10 posted on 03/26/2012 11:04:23 PM PDT by MadMax, the Grinning Reaper
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: JerseyanExile

Look like some of those judges might have a conflict of interest going by what “officials” get up to after work.

11 posted on 03/26/2012 11:07:49 PM PDT by Republican1795.
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: aquila48

Even the Evil One himself speaks the truth part of the time.

12 posted on 03/27/2012 12:24:02 AM PDT by Nextrush (PRESIDENT SARAH PALIN IS MY DREAM)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: JerseyanExile

That headline is a keeper!

13 posted on 03/27/2012 12:29:51 AM PDT by Lancey Howard
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: aquila48

I never voluntarily gave up anything; I have nothing but contempt for white liberals, and satisfaction when they are victims of their programs/ideas.

14 posted on 03/27/2012 3:37:37 AM PDT by kearnyirish2
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: JerseyanExile

I cannot imagine myself so horny as to pay a “sex worker” for relief, especially when relief is readily at hand.

15 posted on 03/27/2012 8:09:51 AM PDT by OldPossum
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: MadMax, the Grinning Reaper
I got that from your initial post. No doubt most Americans were (are) not aware that prostitution was already legal in Canada (except for brothels and street hooking). Dem pols could have legally gotten their jollies in any hotel in any city. The only difference now (if this ruling isn't overturned on appeal to the SCOC), is that they would also be able to visit a brothel legally. I'm not sure that will be a big attraction for them, as it doesn't seem to be very discrete. OTOH, Dem pols can usually count on the MSM looking the other way.

As for the French question — Americans should consider our experiences with official bilingualism to be a cautionary tale. However, my attitudes toward Quebec ‘nationalists’ have soften a bit, in recent years. They have not fallen for multiculturalism — they believe that a nation needs a unifying culture (like a melting pot), and they don't believe in the “stew pot” of identity politics. The ROC (rest of Canada) could learn something from les Québécois.

16 posted on 03/27/2012 1:08:50 PM PDT by USFRIENDINVICTORIA
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794 is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson