Weekend plans ruined: Prostitution still effectively illegal in Ontario
Canada’s record of almost doing interesting things and then chickening out (cough, cough) is unbroken: after an Ontario judge ruled in September that Ontario’s laws against prostitution violate the Charter rights of sex workers, the federal and provincial government asked an appeals court to stay the decision until this can be settled by the Supreme Court. According to the Toronto Star, the feds got their wish this morning:
Laws criminalizing prostitution in Ontario will remain in place until at least until April 29, 2011.
Justice Marc Rosenberg released his ruling this morning, saying he will extend the stay on a landmark decision that would have allowed sex workers to hire bodyguards and communicate freely to sell services.
Rosenberg suggested that the appeal should be heard before the April 29 deadline.
Lawyer Alan Young, who represents dominatrix Terri Jean Bedford, said the judge was concerned with the regulatory void, meaning the lack of laws to regulate the industry.
The feds and the province had launched a full-court press to keep prostitution illegal, advancing basically every argument in the book against legalizing it, including the memorable assertion that “Brothels could spring up and ‘strip clubs would expand their menus.’” We assume they don’t mean a more varied lunch buffet.
It will be interesting to watch this case wind its way up to the Supreme. And if the Supreme Court does rule that Canada’s laws against prostitution are unconstitutional, that still doesn’t end the story, because it’s hard to imagine Ottawa or Queen’s Park letting this go: they always have the option to try rewriting the laws in a way that doesn’t break the Charter. Canada’s judicial nerds are going to have saucy reading for a good while yet.
• Stay extended, prostitution laws remain in effect [Toronto Star]
• Stay extension keeps prostitution laws in legal limbo [Globe and Mail]
• Ontario court delays prostitution law until April [National Post]
• Ont. prostitution laws stand for now [CBC News]
12 thoughts on “Weekend plans ruined: Prostitution still effectively illegal in Ontario”
So the fact that trafficking of children and women would increase and be easily hidden doesn’t dawn on you, no you only care about getting what you want people’s suffering doesn’t sound all that interesting to you. The fact that you must have a mother or sister or daughter and you still think that your tiny toothpick is more important than their safety show what kind of “man” you are, not one at all.
Weekend plans ruined why would you advertise that you can’t get a women? God you must be one hell of an ugly man inside and out. And yes of course trafficking would increase that’s been proven in the countries that have made prostitution legal. “Toothpick” haa haa I think you’re being to generous. :)
OMG DUDE SERIOUSLY STEP AWAY FROM YOUR COMPUTER (I KNOW THIS IS GETTING SCARY FOR YOU NOW) AND GET A GIRLFRIEND YOU DON’T HAVE TO BUY HUMAN BEINGS.
I was hoping that the comments on here were meant that the weekend plans are ruined for the prostitutes safety and not the johns although some people are just plain ignorant.
Today I am a soccer mom, but I am also a former prostitute, with over 20 years of experience in the sex industry. I can assure you that the laws recently stuck down (but stayed) did nothing to curb prostitution.
The laws were rarely enforced, and the penalties for “communicating for the purpose in public” laughable. A conditional discharge or small fine, even with numerous convictions, is standard punishment.
The choice to become a prostitute is more of a moral choice. I doubt that anyone thinking about becoming a prostitute turned away from the idea because she might get a $200 fine for every five years of working… at which she could make $100,000+ a year.
The idea that hundreds of young women are suddenly going to take to the streets to sell their bodies in your neighborhood is ridiculous. Street prostitution is confined to the margins of society. Mentally ill, drug addicted, and homeless. Essentially people who are not terribly concerned about the possibility of spending a couple hours in jail for selling sex in order to get through one more day.
There will not suddenly be more of these people on the street. The ones that are out there, are already out there.
The vast majority of prostitutes today work indoors. There is a brothel in nearly every strip mall, and an incall spot in nearly every apartment building. The women advertise online and in print. You will never really know they are next door to you, because it’s bad for business to be anything other than extremely discreet. Not so much because it’s illegal, but because of the private nature of the transaction.
I see a number of positives that can come from the laws being struck down. There could be some sort of licensing of the women, with fines (not criminal) for anyone working without a license. Perhaps there could being industrial areas zoned for brothels containing more than two prostitutes.
These women should be paying their share of taxes as well. I know that a good number of them do not ONLY because it is illegal and they feel doing so would bring them more trouble than it would be worth.
There are already laws against kidnapping, confinement, assault, threats, etc to cover situations where the woman is involved with a “pimp” and needs protection and legal assistance.
There are also laws against loitering, littering, causing a disturbance, etc… and used in conjunction with licencing, could be used to curb street prostitution.
“Human trafficking” is what every undocumented prostitute cries when the opportunity presents itself. Why? Because it fast tracks their immigration status. Don’t kid yourself about these “victims”. They are intelligent, ambitious women who know exactly what they are getting into and what they are doing.
Certainly, striking down the laws is only the FIRST step. There is much more work to be done.
However, I strongly feel that it’s a great first step, that will help these women conduct their business in a safer, more professional manner. What is good for these women, is good for society as a whole.
After all, they are our sisters, daughters and “soccer moms”.
it’s no wonder it came to this point. Do you really think the Gov’t would allow this kind of business to go on..it would ruin all the cops working on cases like this and perhaps most of them would be all in there doing business like woody wood pecker..instead of the coffee shop & donut thing.
This business has been around for 1000’s of years and it will never go away regardless what Gov’t say’s or does.. Im sure there’s been a few cop’s or judges that have laid down with a ” lady of the night”. But justice is blind anyways.. your guilty until proven innocent..
I just can’t get my head around the idea that these prostitutes are all of a sudden going to start paying taxes.
Get real, they are going to become tax evaders (which they already are).
“I just can’t get my head around the idea that these prostitutes are all of a sudden going to start paying taxes.”
Of course they all aren’t…. but some will.
It’s impossible to prove you have an income unless you have a tax return, and you must prove you have a good income if you want to purchase a home or other major purchases. It’s in the provider’s best interest to file a tax return and show a decent income.
Let me remind you, most prostitutes are intelligent and ambitious. They are in it for the money, and the fact that it’s pointless to make a fantastic living but not be able to do anything with it but buy designer clothes isn’t a secret. So the possibility of paying taxes is not a real stretch of the imagination for anyone with half a brain, as long as the fear of arrest doesn’t cripple her.
Personally, I paid taxes as a “consultant” back in those days, so that I could buy a home, a nice car, a few investments. I built up a very comfortable life and I have absolutely nothing to fear from CRA. Just because I was a prostitute didn’t mean I was stupid…. and funny enough, I learned how to manage my finances (and pay taxes) by listening to older, more experienced, successful, prostitutes.
So I KNOW I wasn’t the only one to pay taxes, and over the 20+ years in the industry I spoke with many women who wanted to follow the same path…. but the song they sang was always the same…. “but how can I pay taxes if it’s illegal?”
Believe it or not, it’s true.
Adding the Swedish law won’t do anything except the street solicitation crime. People can advertise what ever they want in what ever foreign or alien street language they want. Prove it in court! Soliciting is one obstacle, however, try proving you as a female or male prostitute are setting up an escort/dating service to attract customers. The service only offers time per hour. What the client and the customer do in that time frame is entirely up to them if it’s consensual.
its called being sarcastic, a joke? ease up a bit
Holy ad hominem, Batman!
The Charter of Rights and Freedoms *should* protect everyone in Canada. It’s dangerous (and immoral) to draw a charmed circle around some people, while excluding others.
As it stands now, The Criminal Code denies Sex Workers the right to security of person. Everyone in Canada *should* be entitled to call the police for help in the event of rape, harm, etc. without the risk of incurring criminal sanctions.
Honouring this right doesn’t make the Prostitution more lucrative. However, it does provide security for people who are entitled to it.
A WARNING ABOUT SITES LIKE MATCH.COM. Match.com allows people who do not live in town, who are of wrong age, who are married or otherwise in relationships to date on its site. So they may not be thieves but they are looking to take ADVANTAGE OF WOMEN.
I have noticed that since 2009 a lot of men who would have actually used prostitutes have moved to sites like Match.com to find sex and they will lie through their teeth to get it. I know one guy who actually put down he is 44 but is actually 51, wants kids but doesn’t, doesn’t live in the location his profile indicates, has been incarcerated, and generally has a pretty incorrect profile. Also he is in a relationship with another woman in the city he actually lives in. All of this I reported to Match.com…and they will not shut down his profile. They continue to keep it up…knowing that the entire profile is a lie.
I think Match.com specifically has become a magnet for men who were otherwise no longer able to afford prostitutes and now come to the site for the same…only they pay 10th of the price and lie to the women to take advantage of them.
Online dating…especially Match.com are the way of johns.com now. Any decent person who is looking for a real relationship…BEWARE!!!
If the man is an American, I suggest you do a complete background check on Intellus.com site where you can find out the real age, if they are married, if they have a criminal background or otherwise are lying about where they actually live. It costs about $12 and is worth every penny!
Comments are closed.