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July 15th, 2014

Conservatives disregard Supreme Court’s Bedford Decision

Official Opposition Justice Critic Françoise Boivin (Gatineau) made the following statement today as the Conservatives rammed bill C-36 through committee:

“I am very disappointed that the Conservatives have chosen to play divisive politics on the issue of prostitution and protecting women’s health and safety, instead of working with us to respond to the Supreme Court’s ruling in Canada v. Bedford.

The committee heard moving, often difficult testimony about the importance of safety for women involved in prostitution, and concerns that C-36 will be found unconstitutional. Witnesses expressed almost universal disapproval of the government’s decision to criminalize women involved in prostitution, despite the Bedford ruling.

This bill does not respond to the Supreme Court’s ruling and will not improve women's safety. It is deeply flawed and should not proceed. We again call on the government to refer the bill back to the Supreme Court for review, and take immediate action to engage with sex workers to build a comprehensive strategy to better protect and support women.”