Prostitution Tag

14 Jul 2014 Prostitution and the Media Silence

The Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights has been listening to witnesses this week (July 7-11, 2014) as it relates to Bill C-36, Protection of Communities and Exploited Person’s Act. The media has been reporting on the hearings, but the coverage has not been all that balanced. Just as we saw with the Bedford v. Canada court case where only Ms. Bedford and other privileged prostitutes had their voice heard in court, it seems the media wants to undermine the voices of those who worked in the industry but...

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02 Jul 2014 Report Card: Assessing Canada’s Conservative Government

The following article, "Report Card: Assessing Canada's Conservative Government on 10 Key Issues" was originally published in the Reformed Perspective magazine. It has been updated and included here as a reference item for our readers. You can download a PDF of the updated version, linked at the bottom of the text if you wish to print a copy. By Mark Penninga (Updated July, 2014) In a June 2011 article for Reformed Perspective I detailed 10 realistic goals that could be accomplished for our nation under this Conservative government if our leaders have the courage to lead and if citizens give them the encouragement and accountability to do so. Now that we are about halfway through this government’s mandate, how are we faring on these issues? 1. Give Aboriginals the responsibility and hope that belongs to all Canadians Grade: B+ Not long after ARPA published a policy report on this issue in 2012, we were very encouraged to see the federal government announce a number of bills and policies to increase accountability, equality, and opportunity for Canada's Aboriginal peoples. In June 2013, the First Nations Financial Transparency Act became law. Aboriginal MP Rob Clarke has also introduced a private member's bill C-428 entitled the Indian Act Amendment and Replacement Act. And the government has also taken steps towards allowing private property ownership on reserves and increasing parental responsibility in education. As encouraging as these changes are, they are small steps in light of the enormity of the problem. And given that the issue crosses into provincial responsibility, much more can also be done in having the provinces and federal government work towards a common vision. 2. Reform the Canadian Human Rights Commission Grade: C- In light of all the opposition from all sides of the political spectrum to problematic sections of the Canadian Human Rights Act, it is striking that it took a private member's bill (Brian Storseth's C-304) to finally abolish Section 13 in the summer of 2013. This was a huge victory, but the current government can't take much credit for it, apart from not actively opposing it. Much more can be done to reform or even abolish the Canadian Human Rights Commission.
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18 Jun 2014 Prostitution March by Hamilton Area ARPA

On Saturday, May 31, the Hamilton Area ARPA chapter organized a march against prostitution through the streets of downtown Hamilton. About 80 men, women and children of all ages (infants to grandparents) had the option to meet at one of three churches to ride downtown on buses donated by one of the local elementary schools, or meet the group at Hamilton City Hall. The event began with Board Chair Colin Postma giving the background on the Supreme Court of Canada's ruling from December of last year and explaining why we...

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05 Jun 2014 Prostitution law tabled, and you helped shape it!

*Update: the mainstream media is sharing many of the talking points we use on this issue as well. Check out excellent commentary from Calgary Herald, National Post, Globe & Mail, and The Catholic Register. As many ARPA readers know, the issue of prostitution has been a big one on our policy plate for the past few years. In the fall of 2011, ARPA Canada published its first Respectfully Submitted report on this issue, calling on the federal government to give serious consideration to rewriting our laws on prostitution to pre-empt the Supreme Court from striking down our current laws. The government did not act at that time, and the Supreme Court, in December 2013, did strike down our prostitution laws as we predicted. Thankfully, the Court gave Parliament one year to draft new laws. Today, they tabled the draft law titled, the Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act. The preamble sets the tone of the document and is quite impressive. It's worth reproducing here. Note how it doesn't shy away from the public harm that prostitution is and how the commercialization of prostitution is so detrimental:
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20 Feb 2014 Take Action! Prostitution consultation by government of Canada

On December 20, 2013, in the case of Bedford v. Attorney General of Canada, the Supreme Court of Canada found three Criminal Code prostitution offences to be unconstitutional and of no force or effect. This decision gives Parliament one year to respond with a new law before the judgment takes effect. The government is now asking for feedback from you. Here is your chance to help shape a very important law for the better. What a practical and far-reaching way to honour the command to love your neighbour as yourself! The link for the government feedback survey is right here (just click on the consultations tab). Before filling it out, it might be a good idea to review the next few paragraphs. What follows is a basic summary of what our law currently says, what the Supreme Court said about these laws, and what other options there are in dealing with this issue. Then we’ve listed ARPA’s own talking points on the issue. Consider using these when filling out the survey.
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03 Feb 2014 Group Says Human Trafficking Investigations Invade Sex Workers Privacy

The Ottawa Citizen recently reported that a group that advocates for sex workers in Ottawa complained that investigations into human trafficking are an invasion of privacy of sex workers (read the Ottawa Citizen article here). On January 22 and 23, twenty-six police service agencies across Canada interviewed more than 330 women in 30 communities to determine the presence of human trafficking and to ensure that those who were not there willingly had the freedom to get out of a dangerous situation. A group that advocates for some sex workers in...

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20 Dec 2013 Breaking News: Supreme Court declares prostitution laws unconstitutional

The Supreme Court of Canada has just declared that the prostitution laws in Canada are unconstitutional. A saving grace in the ruling however is that they have suspended their declaration of invalidity by one year, meaning that the current law remains valid until December of next year, giving our federal government time to rewrite the law. ARPA's legal counsel was able to comment on the decision with CTV news this morning. Check out this link to watch the 6 minute interview (video appears on the right side of the page)....

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13 Jun 2013 Prostitution appeal heard at the Supreme Court

A Supreme Court of Canada Commentary by ARPA's Legal Counsel, André Schutten – (13 June 2013) - As we predicted in our 2011 fall tour, the Bedford prostitution case did go to the Supreme Court of Canada. Today, the Court conducted a lengthy hearing in this appeal. I had the privilege of watching the hearing which left me with a number of different thoughts. Note that Supreme Court hearings can be misleading - predictions on the outcome are difficult to make. The final decision won't be rendered for quite some time, but here follow some of my thoughts and impressions from the oral hearing:
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15 May 2013 New Lesson Plan: Human Trafficking and Prostitution

This lesson plan (attached) comes in two parts and is geared to grades 10-12. Human Trafficking is one of the social justice issues of our time. There are millions of men and women, boys and girls who are victims of this crime today. Despite this, many people aren't aware that it is going on. These two lessons provide background information, a biblical perspective, links to videos, and suggested activities with the purpose of opening eyes to the injustice and examining what can be done about it. You...

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