Ontario Prostitution Law

It's the solicitors versus soliciting in the Ontario Court of Appeals next week. A controversial ruling last fall appears to have invalidated many of the laws surrounding the sex trade in Ontario. Government lawyers are appealing. We ask: Is there a place for the state in the brothels of the nation?

Part Two of The Current

Ontario Prostitution Law - Panel

Last September's ruling threw the spotlight on prostitutes and Canada's prostitution laws. This week, the Ontario Court of Appeal hears a provincial and federal appeal of last year's lower-court decision. Prostitution was not technically illegal in Ontario - but the profits and activities surrounding it were. But even those hurdles seemed to be lifted when the lower court invalidated prohibitions against maintaining a brothel, communicating for the purposes of prostitution or living off its avails. Still, it seems Canadians have not made up their minds on this issue, and the Court of Appeal will try to determine what the present law really means for sex workers.

Susan Davis has been in the sex industry for 25 years and testified in the first court challenge. She was in Vancouver this morning. Also in Vancouver we were joined by Summer Rain-Bentham. She is a former prostitute who now works with women through the Vancouver Rape Relief & Women's Shelter and she will be in court as an intervenor this week for the appeal.

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