Breaking News: Ontario judge decriminalizes prostitution

29 Sep

Terri-Jean Bedford and Valerie Scott in court.

Yesterday, Justice Susan Himel took down three Criminal Code provisions: soliticing prostitution, pimping and operating a brothel. Her ruling, which will officially take effect in 30 days lest any Crown lawyers should return with strong, competing arguments, will set the standard for judges across Canada.

“By increasing the risk of harm to street prostitutes, the communicating law is simply too high a price to pay for the alleviation of social nuisance. I find that the danger faced by prostitutes greatly outweighs any harm which may be faced by the public,” Judge Himel was quoted as saying in a recent Globe & Mail article.

According to Valerie Scott, the former prostitute and current sex-trade activist who launched the legal attack on Ontario’s prostitution laws, the province’s sex-workers will immediately begin to seek workers’ compensation, health standards and inclusion in the country’s income-tax scheme.

“It is a great day for Canada,” said Terri-Jean Bedford, the dominatrix who was also involved in the case.

Yesterday afternoon, when one of my classmates announced excitedly that Ontario had decriminalized prostitution, these were my sentiments exactly. I am thrilled that people are finally beginning to take this issue seriously and that sex-trade workers will no longer have to fear for their lives. Canada is finally showing some forward-thinking and I hope that we will continue to do so.

In a recent poll, 82 per cent of Globe & Mail readers agreed that prostitution should be decriminalized.

What do you think?

Love always, Erica

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