To be a voice for those who are enslaved by sexual oppression and exploitation in Canada, we need to have an understanding of how democracy is employed in Canada and what we can do as individuals.
Democracy is a governing principle where all eligible citizens have an equal voice regarding any decision that affects their lives.
The Government of Canada is comprised of three branches: executive, legislative, and judicial
Executive Branch: composed of the Queen (represented by the governor general), the Cabinet (including the prime minister) and the administration (which includes all government departments, armed forces, Crown corporations and other bodies).
Legislative Branch: consists of the Queen (represented by the governor general), Senate, and elected House of Commons. The legislative branch provides a forum of debate for current political issues in Canada and has the power and responsibility to create laws.
Judicial Branch: Supreme Court of Canada – administers justice by interpreting and applying the law. It operates independently from the other branches of government.
*It is important to note that the Legislative Branch has the power and responsibility to create laws and that this branch is comprised of elected representatives.
Therefore, we, as citizens of Canada, have the voice and authority to keep our elected representatives accountable and to state our support or criticism regarding their actions or lack thereof. Given that the Legislative Branch has the power and responsibility to create laws, as Canadians, we also have the authority to influence what laws are created, amended, or struck down.
The prostitution laws in Canada are in a state of limbo. The Supreme Court of Canada has asked the government to enact new legislation on the issue of prostitution. Although the Judicial Branch operates independently from the other branches, it has once again engaged in judicial activism. As one of the forefathers of empiricism puts it: “Judges ought to remember that their office is jus dicere, and not jus dare; to interpret the law, and not to make the law, or give law.” (Francis Bacon, Of Judicature)
As Martin Luther King Jr. stated in his ‘I Have a Dream’ speech, “it would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment.” We all have the ability to educate ourselves about the laws of prostitution in Canada and to tell our elected representatives that we will not support sexual oppression and exploitation of women and men in a country that constitutionally guarantees the right to life, liberty, and security of the person equally to all citizens.
A Million Acts of Sustainability will post relevant information on the issue of prostitution and human sustainability for individuals to share and send to friends and elected politicians to educate, empower, and advocate a movement that will lift up those who are sexually oppressed and exploited, and to prevent others from falling victim to prostitution and sex trafficking.
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