Standing ovation in Commons as Conservatives announce appeal of prostitution ruling
OTTAWA, Ontario, April 26, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The Federal Government will appeal a ruling by the Ontario Court of Appeal last month that determined that provisions in the law prohibiting brothels and living from the profit of prostitution were suddenly unconstitutional. Minister of Justice Rob Nicholson told the House of Commons yesterday that Canada’s top court will have a say in the matter.
“After consideration of the ruling from the Ontario Court of Appeal with regards to the Bedford prostitution challenge, I am pleased to inform this House that the government of Canada will seek leave to appeal this decision to the Supreme Court of Canada,” said Nicholson in a statement.
“We believe that a binding national decision is required,” continued Nicholson. “Prostitution is harmful for society as it exploits Canada’s most vulnerable people, especially women. Canadians can continue to count on the government to protect those who are vulnerable to this kind of exploitation.”
The announcement was greeted in the House with cheers, clapping, and a brief standing ovation. One person could be heard saying loudly “well done”.
In its decision Bedford v. Canada (Attorney General), the Court of Appeal determined that Sections 210 and 212 (1) (j) of the federal Criminal Code that regulate prostitution were unconstitutional. It suspended its “bawdy-house” decision for twelve months to give Parliament time to draft a new “Charter-compliant” bawdy-house provision. The overturning of the “living on the avails” of prostitution provision would have taken effect yesterday evening had the Federal Government not appealed the decision.
“It is our position that the Criminal Code provisions are constitutionally sound,” continued Nicholson in his statement to the House. “It is important to clarify the constitutionality of the law and remove the uncertainty this decision has created. The Criminal Code provisions denounce and deter the most harmful and public aspects of prostitution.”
Ex-prostituted women, who have experienced first hand what businessmen call the sex-trade but what they call the “dreadful darkness of sex-slavery”, have breathed a sigh of relief with the news of the appeal.
Tania Fiolleau, a former prostitute and overseer of brothels where hundreds of women were prostituted, told LifeSiteNews that she was “happy” with the Federal Government’s decision to appeal. She denounced the Ontario ruling saying that in her opinion, it “just gives the government a license to be a pimp, because now they can charge taxes to these women”.
She pointed out that if Canada really wanted to “fix the problem of prostitution”, it must adopt the Nordic model, which she said proved very effective in cutting down prostitution in Sweden by approximately 45%, with hardly any of the trade going underground. According to this model, the buyer is the one who is criminalized, not the prostituted women.
Fiolleau is skeptical that Canada’s politicians and Supreme Court judges will do much to curb prostitution, because she says, some of these very people are the ones using prostitutes. She told LifeSiteNews that people would be outraged if she were to expose the identities of some of the high profile clients who had visited her brothels.
“Members of Parliament and judges aren’t fighting against prostitution because there’re the ones who are buying the services,” she pointed out.
Fiolleau argued recently in an op-ed piece special to LifeSiteNews that “prostitution and brothels should be made illegal in Canada”.
“Some people think that legalizing brothels will make the prostituted women safer and allow them to lead better lives. This is far from the truth. Many of the women working in brothels have already been abused by human trafficking, enslavement to pimps, or by being controlled by criminal organizations through fear and oppression.”
Fiolleau’s will tell anyone who will listen that it is a tragedy for any young girl or women to enter into what she calls the “hell of prostitution.” Prostituted women become what she calls “our nation’s lost women.”
“They become victims of a dark and sinister sex enslavement. Their life is one of agony and horror,” she wrote.
Ex-prostitutes from Montreal had also slammed last month’s ruling saying that legalizing brothels would do nothing to help prostitutes protect themselves from exploitation and abuse when selling sex for profit.
“It’s hypocritical - it’s merely legitimizing pimps into businessmen,” said one ex-prostituted women to the National Post. “Legalizing bordellos is simply telling men it’s OK to go there.”
Gwendolyn Landolt, vice president of REAL Women of Canada, told Postmedia News that the Supreme Court has the power to overturn the lower court’s ruling, but that it would be most effective for the government to circumvent the court’s decision by using the the notwithstanding clause in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
“The only remedy is the notwithstanding clause to restrain them (the courts). That’s all that’s left,” she said.
If the Supreme Court accepts the case, it could be as long as two years before a final decision is reached. Legal observers suspect that the two sides will likely appear before the Supreme Court within a month to begin the legal proceedings.
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