Why C36 in Canada is mostly not enforced - Harm Reduction Model
Ontario Courts have agreed that anti-prostitution laws endanger sex workers. Prostitutes would be safer if they had the legal right to operate brothels and hire security staff for protection. The Supreme Court reversed prior laws against prostitution (outcall had always been legal). This upset the conservatives in Parliament that passed C36 making paying for sex only illegal for customers, receiving earnings from prostitution etc. Many lawyers believe if challenged C36 would be overturned as were the prior laws against sexworkers.
Most major police agencies have announced they will not change how they enforce laws and will continue to follow a harm reduction model. Various agencies at their incalls and adult body rubs have been visited by police or bylaw agents. However, their only concern in most cities is being sure workers are consenting adults and they have not been bothering customers during the visits. This frees up police to go after underaged and pimps that force women to be prostitutes.
If C36 is enforced the solution is simple just like in the U.S. - never pay for sex.
Agencies in Canada do not offer sex for a fee and neither do adult body rubs. Nude adult body rubs are totally legal as is nude-reverse and full contact nude strip club lap dances at least in Peel Region (Brampton, Mississauga, etc.) For example, Pure Gold on website highlights "naked friction dances". Licensing bylaws differ in other areas but only licensing not criminal. Unlike in the U.S., the Canadian Criminal Code is federal and is left to local police and provincial attorney generals and courts how to enforce.
Some cities like Winnipeg and Edmonton are enforcing C36 for street work usually based on complaints from residences.
Here are some media reports confirming LE refusing to support since C36 increases harm and probably is unconstitutional just like the old law overturned by the Canadian Supreme Court:
"Ontario's Premier has asked Madeleine Meilleur, Ontario's attorney general, to advise on the law's constitutionality and what steps might be taken if its compliance with the Charter is called into question. The law is still on the books, but no LE in Ontario wants to be the first to lay charges obviously."
Now Magazine says: COPS TREAD CAUTIOUSLY ON FEDS' NEW SEX WORKER LAW
Budget pressures and concerns about sex worker safety - not to mention the constitutionality of the new law - are pushing progressive police forces across the country to evaluate their enforcement approach
After Canada's new anti-prostitution law came into effect, a strange thing happened on the way to the crackdown the HarperCons seemed to be hoping for.
A handful of police forces - among them Saskatoon, Calgary, Montreal, Victoria and Vancouver - declared that they would not enforce them. Turns out more police forces are following suit. At least, that seems to be the consensus among the police department spokespeople we talked to. Save for the odd exception; most claim the new law hasn't changed the way they handle prostitution.
Toronto Still a concern about street work but not private
According to Chief Bill Blair's spokesperson, Mark Pugash, the new law hasn't changed the way the force is dealing with prostitution. They continue to rely on complaints. Pugash says public safety is the force's "highest concern," but he seems to be talking more about residents' concerns than the safety of sex workers. "If the complaints we get require us to use tools we didn't have before, then we will do that."
Ottawa may use C36 based on complaints of Johns on streets saying, "my phone doesn't stop ringing from residents calling to complain about condoms on their driveway."
Montreal will prioritize: "fighting human trafficking, keeping minors out of the sex trade and working on issues with street prostitution."
York Region One focus: " "particularly those who are seeking the services of young girls in the sex trade under the age of 18."
Summary of the background of Prostitution Law Change in Canada
Bedford v. Canada alleged that the Criminal Code prevents prostitutes from operating in a safe and secure environment. In a landmark ruling in 2010, the Ontario Superior Court said laws against keeping a common bawdy house, living on the avails of prostitution, and communicating for the purpose of prostitution (solicitation) violate individual Charter rights to freedom of expression and security of the person. Solicitation was illegal only in a public place like on streets or common areas of bars and hotels. Ads, telephone, cell phone solicitation was never illegal.
The case was appealed to the Supreme Court, which delivered its judgment in December 2013 striking down all three Criminal Code provisions at issue in the Ontario case. In a unanimous decision the court affirmed that the practice of trading sex for money is not illegal in Canada. It also said the provisions posed risks to the "health, safety and lives of prostitutes."
Specifically, the court said the prohibition against living on the avails of prostitution, although designed to target the exploitive actions of pimps, instead punishes the "legitimate drivers, managers, or bodyguards" hired by prostitutes to keep them safe.
The court also said the law against solicitation, while it serves a useful purpose in dealing with the public-nuisance factor of street prostitution, creates risks for prostitutes by making it difficult for them to screen potential customers for drunkenness or violence.
Then the conservative Harper government rammed through C36 making it illegal for customers to buy sex etc. If any agency or customer gets charged it will most likely be ultimately ruled again unconstitutional which is the reason along with focus on harm reduction C36 is not being enforced in most cities for in private consenting adults.
Harper is now gone, and the Trudeau Liberal government is now in control. There is growing pressure to have C36 repealed but no action so far to do this.
In late 2015 regarding C36: Now Magazine reported NDP, LIBERALS, GREENS COMMIT TO REPEALING ANTI-SEX-WORK LAW Conservatives' Bill C-36 harshly criticized for not protecting sex workers.
In an interview in thestar.com, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne about C36 that she will leave it to the Courts "even though she's worried it may violate the Constitution and put sex workers at greater risk." Wynne issued a statement saying she was worried it would not make sex workers safer, and was openly critical of C-36. 'I do not believe we should be in the business of passing statutes that in fact put women, put people in this area at more risk,' she said. "Asked directly if Ontario would consider not prosecuting any prostitution charges that are laid by police, similar to what used to happen with abortion charges, Wynne said she'd leave that to the courts."
Various other comments:
"legal advisors have advised provincial governments and municipalities to avoid becoming the first test case for a weak unenforceable law."
LE Usual Visit Toronto Adult Body Rubs
It was reported on the major Toronto board in 2017 by a customer that was being asked questions by officers that were doing a routine inspection and talking to customers, which they rarely do. After a concern was raised the owner in a public post (Musemassagespa.com) said: " We had a visit from plain clothed officers on Friday night. The same morality guys that make the rounds in Toronto. I'd like to clear a few misconceptions up that this thread has brought up. "Cops nowadays are much nicer than they were back when Riley & I were MPA's. They have a lot more restrictions & guidelines. In my eyes, their visits are much less eventful or harassing than back in the day. This visit in particular was routine. License checks. A few questions. The usual stuff. I did hear about the 1 more aggressive officer, and we have taken steps to address it with them in follow-up."
"Lastly, we have a great relationship with local LE. We get regular visits for good reason. They make sure the ladies are ok, are there of their own free will, and to ensure their safety. This is not something we worry about, in fact, we encourage open communication between these officers & our staff. If ever you are interrupted while visiting, send us a pm & we will work quickly to rectify the situation for you. We always collect badge #s as well." If you check the Toronto by-laws, MP's must agree to regular inspections as part of their licensing terms and conditions."
Two others on the thread report in 2017 police were doing inspections while they were customers. In one case was in the shower at the end and just walked by and officers said "goodnight." Other reports they usually do not talk to customers just checking licensing etc.
Outlook for C36 Comment:
Either it will sit unused in a dusty closet until some right wing nut job gets elected and tries to enforce it or it will get a cport challenge and then probably be ruled unconstitutional.
It's kind of like leaving a live wire somewhere you think nobody will go. Eventually it will make some big sparks, and somebody may get hurt.
No politician whether left-wing or right-wing will touch C36 with a 10-foot pole. Its simply too much of a hot potato, and repealing it offers very little political benefit.
..the old laws were not perfect. However, LE looked the other way (for the most part) when it came to things like incalls, brothels and outcalls were legal. Now, there seems to be a push to start adhering to radical religious/feminist ideology and 'string up the johns'. For what? I ask.... I'll tell you - for the fact that an ultra right wing religious freak government sees fit to ignore the SCC (Supreme Court of Canada), and instead legislate morality according to their personal view on sexuality. Rational objective thought has gone by the wayside, and so have the rights and freedoms of Canadians. If only the general public were more astute... unfortunately for those uneducated in the workings of our industry, it becomes too easy to buy the party line, only because they don't know any better, and for the most part don't care since most are unaffected by anything pertaining to this particular subculture. This is the sad reality of the present state of affairs.
The risks for the ladies haven't even remotely been addressed. Not even a little. Escorts had as good security then as now. Why? Because they charge enough to have a driver and a phone service, people who know where they are.
It has always been streetwalkers that were at risk and they are STILL at risk. Why? Because they are drug addicts barely surviving and they work alone in situations where nobody knows where they are. That hasn't changed.
So things got worse for some and better for none.
Australia (in parts) and New Zealand have similar culture and history as Canada, and they legalized brothels.
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