Thursday September 30, 2010

Canadian Gvmt to Appeal Prostitution Ruling

By Patrick B. Craine

OTTAWA, Ontario, September 30, 2010 ( – The federal government will appeal the Tuesday ruling that struck down Canada’s prostitution laws, the justice minister announced yesterday.

“Prostitution is a problem that harms individuals and communities,” Justice Minister Rob Nicholson told the House of Commons. “That is why I am pleased to indicate to the House that the government will appeal and will seek a stay of that decision.”

Ontario Superior Court Justice Susan Himel ruled Tuesday that Canada’s provisions on prostitution violated women’s Charter rights to freedom of expression and security of the person. While the act of prostitution is legal, the Criminal Code prohibits communicating for the purpose of prostitution, keeping a common bawdy house, and living on the avails of prostitution.

The ruling does not go into effect for 30 days, but the federal government will seek to have it stayed until an appeal can be heard.

Ontario Attorney General Chris Bentley announced Wednesday that the Ontario government will join the feds in their appeal. “These laws are important. They protect people from being lured or coerced into prostitution, they protect people from being under domination of those who would prey,” he told reporters, according to the Toronto Star. “They protect communities from the adverse effects of prostitution-related activity.”

Pro-family groups have warned that Justice Himel’s decision endangers vulnerable women by empowering pimps and human traffickers.

See related coverage:

Canadian Laws Restricting Prostitution ‘Unconstitutional’: Ontario Court

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