Well, this sucks. I remember reading an article about a year ago that really praised Canada for its enlightened perspective on the sex trade and prostitution. The Canadian legal system had just decreed that Canada’s current legislation on sex work was non-constitutional, and gave the government one year to draft up some new legislation.
People assumed that the new legislation would be much friendlier towards sex workers, de-criminalizing brothels and softening the sanctions against people working in the sex industry.
People assumed wrong, as the Canadian government is in the process of trying to push through new legislation that would essentially make all forms of sex work (including even advertising in the newspapers) illegal.
The most disappointing aspect of this new legislation is summed up succinctly in the following quotes by Katrina Lacey, a lawyer:
“This is in fact full criminalization of prostitution … which is going to result in sex workers going to jail.”
“The minister has found various ways to limit all of the safe ways for sex-trade work,” Pacey said.
So it seems like there’s no middle ground here. One side (the government) staunchly believes that there is no benefit to the full decriminalization of sex work, and that it must be regulated closely. The other and classic argument is that making sex work illegal only reinforces the dangers, criminal elements and violence surrounding the world’s oldest profession.
But even though the Canadian government is still firmly entrenched in the stone ages, the general population seems to be getting more enlightened. Results of this poll, which surveyed more than 31,000 people, indicated that more than 2/3 of respondents believed that sex work should be legal.
It’s time that the Canadian government listen to its people.
North America really needs to catch up in terms of the way that the sex industry is treated!