In case you missed it! The Ontario Court of Appeal has made a decision which effectively legalizes brothels and the hiring of employees in the sex trade. This may very well result in legal challenges in other provinces, and Crown Attorneys in other provinces can even choose now to follow the ruling (though perhaps that is being too hopeful).
Brothels are now legal - it can be set up in a private home or in a business area, which was not permitted before. It also will narrow the scope about the criminality of “living off the avails of prostitution” to exploitation by pimps. I am particularly fond of that part because it actually puts the blame where it should be. This will allow the hiring of body guards, receptionists, etc as part of the business of prostitution.
the law against street solicitation will remain because of ‘social nuisance’ concerns. Interestingly, the dissenting opinions are not about what has been struck down, but what has been kept in. Two justices wrote a very strongly dissenting opinion that the safety of the prostitutes should override any social nuisance concern.
This is problematic, because it’s not likely ever prostitute will have the opportunity or choose to move indoors. By leaving street solicitation as criminal, it removes protection from those who might need it most, because they are doing their work in the most dangerous of places.
both sides have the opportunity to appeal the ruling over the next 30 days. Anyone want to lay bets on what Harper’s Government will do?
On the upside, not making this entirely ugly, it gives the opportunity to appeal against the upholding of the street solicitation law as well.
I mentioned before that this is a good thing - and I do maintain that it is compared to the alternative of upholding the laws, but it’s not over yet, and it could be done better.