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Canadian Supreme Court overturns all laws against prostitution (1 Viewer)

Sarnoff

Footballguy
Unanimously, 9-0.

TORONTO (AP) — Canada's highest court struck down the country's anti-prostitution laws Friday, a victory for sex workers who stepped up their fight for safer working conditions following the serial killings of prostitutes by a pig farmer in British Columbia.

The 9-0 Supreme Court ruling found that the laws violated the guarantee to life, liberty and security of the person. But the ruling won't take effect immediately because it gave Parliament a one-year reprieve to respond with new legislation.

Prostitution isn't illegal in Canada, but many of the activities associated with prostitution are classified as criminal offenses.

The high court struck down all three prostitution-related laws: against keeping a brothel, living on the avails of prostitution, and street soliciting. The landmark ruling comes more than two decades after the Supreme Court last upheld the country's anti-prostitution laws.

The decision upheld an Ontario Court of Appeal ruling last year that struck down the ban on brothels on the grounds that it endangered sex workers by forcing them onto the streets.

Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin, writing on behalf of the court, said Canada's social landscape has changed since 1990, when the Supreme Court upheld a ban on street solicitation.

"These appeals and the cross-appeal are not about whether prostitution should be legal or not," she wrote. "They are about whether the laws Parliament has enacted on how prostitution may be carried out pass constitutional muster. I conclude that they do not."

A Vancouver sex worker who was part of a group that brought the case applauded the court's decision.

"I'm shocked and pleased that our sex laws will not cause us harm in a year," Amy Lebovitch said in a news conference.

Katrina Pacey, a lawyer for the group, called it "an unbelievably important day for the sex workers but also for human rights."

"The court recognized that sex workers have the right to protect themselves and their safety," she said.

Sex-trade workers argued that much has happened since the high court last considered prostitution, including the serial killings of prostitutes by Robert Pickton in British Columbia. Pickton was convicted in 2007 of killing six women whose remains were found on his farm outside Vancouver.

In 1990, the two women on Canada's Supreme Court dissented on the ruling upholding the ban on street solicitation. This time, all six men on the court justices sided with their three female colleagues.

"The harms identified by the courts below are grossly disproportionate to the deterrence of community disruption that is the object of the law," McLachlin wrote. "Parliament has the power to regulate against nuisances, but not at the cost of the health, safety and lives of prostitutes."

The Supreme Court appeared to acknowledge the Pickton case in the ruling, saying: "A law that prevents street prostitutes from resorting to a safe haven such as Grandma's House while a suspected serial killer prowls the streets, is a law that has lost sight of its purpose."

Grandma's House was a safe house established to support street workers in Vancouver's drug and violence-riddled Downtown Eastside, at about the same time as fears were growing that a serial killer was prowling the streets. Bawdy House charges forced the house to close in 2000. The charges were stayed four years later, but by then it was too late.

The Supreme Court also struck down the law that makes living off the avails of prostitution illegal, rejecting the Ontario government's argument that it is designed "to target the commercialization of prostitution and to promote the values of dignity and equality."

The three principles in the case are: Lebovitch, retired dominatrix Terri-Jean Bedford and former prostitute Valerie Scott, of Toronto.

Parliament could ask the Supreme Court for an extension on the effect of the ruling, if it has tabled legislation but can't meet the one-year deadline.

The ruling told Parliament it needs to reshape the legal framework around prostitution.
 
Understand that the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms operates somewhat differently. The legislature can still enact an "unconstitutional" legislative measure for a period of five years (which can be renewed). Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Sect. 33.

So when the Canadian Supreme Court declares a law unconstitutional, that doesn't end the question definitively the way it does in the US.

 
Understand that the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms operates somewhat differently. The legislature can still enact an "unconstitutional" legislative measure for a period of five years (which can be renewed). Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Sect. 33.

So when the Canadian Supreme Court declares a law unconstitutional, that doesn't end the question definitively the way it does in the US.
Informative, at least to me. Thanks.

 

Soulfly3

Footballguy
blunts and booties.

we doin it right
And Bieber.
cut us some slack... for our nicklebacks, lavigne, celine and biebers (all of whom reside in the US now... sorry :s )

we have given chriqui, cuthbert, gosling, carey, mcadams, ellen page, ryan reynolds, seth rogan, baruchel, cera, michael j, john candy, pam anderson, mike myers, akroyd, short, neve campbell, leslie nielsen, hartman, moranis, priestly, arcade fire, cronenberg, trailer park boys, neil young, leonard cohen etc etc

I mean, for a country with just over 1/10th of your population, we aren't all that bad.

 
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KCitons

Footballguy
Soulfly3 said:
Hang 10 said:
Soulfly3 said:
blunts and booties.

we doin it right
And Bieber.
cut us some slack... for our nicklebacks, lavigne, celine and biebers (all of whom reside in the US now... sorry :s )

we have given chriqui, cuthbert, gosling, carey, mcadams, ellen page, ryan reynolds, seth rogan, baruchel, cera, michael j, john candy, pam anderson, mike myers, akroyd, short, neve campbell, leslie nielsen, hartman, moranis, priestly, arcade fire, cronenberg, trailer park boys, neil young, leonard cohen etc etc

I mean, for a country with just over 1/10th of your population, we aren't all that bad.
don't forget Rush.

 

Soulfly3

Footballguy
You guys just gotta fix the cold issue. That's a dealbreaker.
depends on which part of the country you're in....

and by that I mean, basically you have to be in British Columbia to avoid the worst of the cold. Also happens to be the best part of the country anyways... soooo

 

T Bell

Footballguy
Soulfly3 said:
Hang 10 said:
Soulfly3 said:
blunts and booties.

we doin it right
And Bieber.
cut us some slack... for our nicklebacks, lavigne, celine and biebers (all of whom reside in the US now... sorry :s )

we have given chriqui, cuthbert, gosling, carey, mcadams, ellen page, ryan reynolds, seth rogan, baruchel, cera, michael j, john candy, pam anderson, mike myers, akroyd, short, neve campbell, leslie nielsen, hartman, moranis, priestly, arcade fire, cronenberg, trailer park boys, neil young, leonard cohen etc etc

I mean, for a country with just over 1/10th of your population, we aren't all that bad.
don't forget Rush.
Wars have been started over less. Roll the Bones indeed.

 

Soulfly3

Footballguy
hockey, better beer, hookers and weed

Just 20 miles away
Canadian beer options are nowhere near better.
30 million ppl compared to 300 million.

of course your selection and breadth will be larger... of most any product. but we have damn fine microbrews here that hold up to any country on earth's. as do you guys.

the BEST thing about american booze, is the price. we charge at least double for our stuff because it's so heavily taxed. so I just drive my ### over to the States once a week... fill up on gas. buy a case of beer.. get groceries... save about 100$ on a 15min drive.

 

Ilov80s

Footballguy
hockey, better beer, hookers and weed

Just 20 miles away
Canadian beer options are nowhere near better.
30 million ppl compared to 300 million.

of course your selection and breadth will be larger... of most any product. but we have damn fine microbrews here that hold up to any country on earth's. as do you guys.

the BEST thing about american booze, is the price. we charge at least double for our stuff because it's so heavily taxed. so I just drive my ### over to the States once a week... fill up on gas. buy a case of beer.. get groceries... save about 100$ on a 15min drive.
Getting alcohol in Canada is a mess. Prices are crazy and you have to find special beer stores. You can't get beer in a grocery store? For a country that is so forward thinking and loves to party, it boggles my mind that it treats alcohol sales like a Bible Belt county.

 

The Ref

Footballguy
Well if prostitution is legal, it doesn't make any sense to have brothels illegal. If anything should be illegal it would the street soliciting part of it.

 

Soulfly3

Footballguy
hockey, better beer, hookers and weed

Just 20 miles away
Canadian beer options are nowhere near better.
30 million ppl compared to 300 million.

of course your selection and breadth will be larger... of most any product. but we have damn fine microbrews here that hold up to any country on earth's. as do you guys.

the BEST thing about american booze, is the price. we charge at least double for our stuff because it's so heavily taxed. so I just drive my ### over to the States once a week... fill up on gas. buy a case of beer.. get groceries... save about 100$ on a 15min drive.
Getting alcohol in Canada is a mess. Prices are crazy and you have to find special beer stores. You can't get beer in a grocery store? For a country that is so forward thinking and loves to party, it boggles my mind that it treats alcohol sales like a Bible Belt county.
Doesnt work like that in the entire country... every province has it's own rules on liquor. Quebec you can buy booze just like in the USA (anywhere)

Ontario you have to go to the beer store for beer, and lcbo for beer+booze.

etc etc

 

The Ref

Footballguy
If you have not enjoyed an evening on Rue St. Catherine's then you haven't lived life.
Annual rite of passage in my north of Boston town was all the High School Sr's and Jr's would take a $99 bus tour to Montreal. Great time. 18 year old drinking legally....

 

Soulfly3

Footballguy
If you have not enjoyed an evening on Rue St. Catherine's then you haven't lived life.
Annual rite of passage in my north of Boston town was all the High School Sr's and Jr's would take a $99 bus tour to Montreal. Great time. 18 year old drinking legally....
T!ttie bars and underaged drinking. You can't go wrong.
It's Canada, they aren't t!tty bars... it's full nudity, girl on girl type stuff up in the great white north

 

Maurile Tremblay

Administrator
Staff member
I hadn't heard this until now, but apparently it was realized in 2003 that Rhode Island had accidentally legalized prostitution. It took until 2009 to re-criminalize it. So for six years prostitution was effectively legal. During those six years, "[t]he statewide incidence of gonorrhea among women declined by 39 percent, and the number of rapes reported to police in the state declined by 31 percent...."

 
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NCCommish

Footballguy
I hadn't heard this until now, but apparently it was realized in 2003 that Rhode Island had accidentally legalized prostitution. It took until 2009 to re-criminalize it. So for six years prostitution was effectively legal. During those six years, "[t]he statewide incidence of gonorrhea among women declined by 39 percent, and the number of rapes reported to police in the state declined by 31 percent...."
That is pretty interesting.

 

SaintsInDome2006

Footballguy
Storyville Red light District of New Orleans, in the Treme neighborhood:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Storyville,_New_Orleans

It was enacted as a reform measure, it actually helped curb crime and vice in the City during its existence. It would have made a helluva tourist attraction ... but feds shut it down in 1917 or so because it was felt it was a health risk to Navy sailors going through the large NO port during WW1.

Oh well.

 
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