Gearing up for the Supreme Court of Canada hearing on the prostitution laws
The Supreme Court of Canada is set to hear an appeal to the Constitutional Challenge of Canada’s prostitution laws on June 13. As the fury around the case increases, various individuals have decided which position they will defend/support as the hearing proceeds.
What is at stake?
The Supreme Court of Canada is considering whether specific provisions in the Criminal Code of Canada violate the rights and freedoms outlined in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedom. The provisions in question prohibit:
a) The operation of a common bawdy house
b) Individuals (besides the prostitute) living off of (wholly or in part) the earnings of prostitution
c) Transportation of anyone to a bawdy house
d) Public solicitation for the purposes of sex
What are the positions individuals are defending/supporting?
The positions individuals invariably find themselves associating with can be divided into four general categories:
a) Prostitution is a voluntary career choice – The above mentioned provisions prevent prostitutes from safely conducting their sex service business ventures.
b) Prostitution is not a voluntary choice – Although the above mentioned provisions in the Criminal Code are not perfect, eliminating them will increase the victimization and enslavement of young women. Prostitution is a result of control, deception and enslavement of individuals who have no choice but to comply.
c) Prostitution is brought about by adverse circumstances and a patriarchal social system that continues to promote and support the objectification of women. Equality cannot be attained in a society that continues to allow individuals to be purchased for sexual services.
d) Prostitution is the “world’s oldest profession”; so long as the prostitutes and johns are not “in my face” then just decriminalize it or legalize it.
The bigger picture
We support the position that there are a number of underlying core issues that bring about prostitution. The current laws that are in place are not perfect. However, prostitution laws aside, when individuals bring forth Constitutional Challenges to the Courts, they are specifically bypassing our rights as citizens in this democratic country. Lawyers and judges do not create laws.
In collaboration with the people, laws are created by Members of Parliament. These Members of Parliament are representatives elected by the people. Public discourse and support are sought for specific bills by Members of Parliament and these representatives present specific bills in Parliament. The bills are then debated and voted on. It is only when the majority of elected representatives support a given bill that it will become a law.
When individuals bypass the democratic process and go directly to the Courts, they make a mockery out of democracy. No longer are we governed by the people, we are governed by the few. Governed by unelected judges that relish at the opportunity to dictate due process to the government and the people.
Even more alarming are the overwhelming majority of people who are complacent and willing to hand over control to the few. Is it not time to open your eyes and renew your minds? Or will you continue to support the illusion and spectacle of society that operates under false pretenses of freedom and democracy?