Prostitution laws will be enforced - for now - police say
Federal government has one year to devise new legsislation
Police in Regina and Saskatoon say the Criminal Code provisions dealing with prostitution will continue to be enforced, although they are keen to see how the federal government reacts to the Supreme Court's ruling on the laws.
In Regina, a spokeswoman for the police noted the ruling gives Parliament one year to enact new legislation, if it chooses to do so.
"The current laws will remain in effect for the next year," Elizabeth Popowich noted. "For the Regina Police Service, today's ruling does not change our duty to uphold the law or our authority to uphold these laws."
Saskatoon's police chief, Clive Weighill, had the same response Friday, saying his officers will continue to enforce the laws for as long they remain in effect.
When asked about what he would like to see, if new legislation was introduced, he said something that keeps the sex trade out of residential areas would be important.
"It hasn't been illegal to be a prostitute in Canada for several years," Weighill pointed out. "So the main thing that we've been using is trying to enforce communicating for sex in a public place."
Weighill added that Saskatoon's new adult services by-law is a useful tool for police.
"So we still have some form of legalized control over what's going to happen with the sex trade in Saskatoon," he said. "And of course the idea of the by-law was to make sure that minors aren't involved in the sex trade."
Provincial officials are also watching to see how the federal government responds.
A spokeswoman for the province said officials are reviewing the decision.
"While we will be reviewing the Supreme Court's ruling, and will assess its impact on any cases that it may affect that are presently before the courts, it's too soon to comment on it at this time," the official said. "The ruling is of interest to Saskatchewan, but as you know the provisions of the Criminal Code of Canada are determined federally and it will ultimately be up it to the federal government to respond. We look forward to hearing from the federal government on this."