Supreme Court rules out Canada’s prostitution laws in unanimous, 9-0 decision

Present for Friday's ruling: former Madame and dominatrix Terri-Jean Bedford, who has been fighting Canada's prostitution laws since 2007.

A photo of Terri-Jean Bedford

Your browser does not support frames. Click here to view the frameless video..

The Canadian Supreme Court ruled unanimously – 9-0 – on Friday to strike down the country’s prostitution laws, which include prohibitions against keeping a brothel, making a living off prostitution, and soliciting on the street.

In its ruling, the Supreme Court found that Canada’s laws against prostitution do not hold with the constitutional guarantee of life, liberty, and security of a person.

“Parliament has the power to regulate against nuisances, but not at the cost of the health, safety and lives of prostitutes,” wrote Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin, “it is not a crime in Canada to sell sex for money.”

Present for Friday’s decision was Terri-Jean Bedford – known previously as Madame DeSade of Thornhill, Ontario’s ‘Bondage Bungalow’ – a retired dominatrix who has been at the fore front of the debate to reform Canada’s prostitution laws, for the safety of sex workers.

“Great day for Canada, Canadian women, from coast to coast,” she said in Ottawa, clad in leather and carrying a whip. “Now, the government must tell Canadian – all consenting adults – what we can and cannot do in the privacy of our home, for money or not, and we must write laws that are fair.”

With Friday’s decision, the Canadian Parliament now has a one-year window to enact new legislation dealing with prostitution and sex work.

Bedford, along with Amy Lebovitch and Valerie Scott, brought forward the case that directly resulted in the existence of today’s vote.

“Men shouldn’t be punished or criminalized, just like women, for obeying their natural instincts,” Bedford added on Friday. “People are having sex all over the place every day, and the minute the find out somebody got paid, or got a dinner or a dress for it, they’re a criminal or a hooker?

“I don’t think so.”

Bedford also joked that Prime Minister Stephen Harper had called her and offered her a job in the Senate, as a government whip.

She added: “There’s wrong with it (sex, prostitution), whatsoever. It’s very healthy and it produces a productive man. A very happy man makes a productive man.”

Your browser does not support frames. <a href=”http://globalnews.ca/video/1043086/retired-dominatrix-jokes-about-stephen-harper-hiring-her-as-government-whip” _mce_href=”http://globalnews.ca/video/1043086/retired-dominatrix-jokes-about-stephen-harper-hiring-her-as-government-whip”>Click here to view the frameless video.</a>.

Kim Pate, director the Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry (video above) publicly disagreed with the opinions presented by Bedford, and offered the following words:

“It’s a sad day, that we have now confirmed that it’s okay to buy and sell women and girls in this country. I think, in generations to come, our daughters, their granddaughters and one, will look back and say, ‘What were they thinking in that time?’ to say that it was okay to continue to enslave women and girls.

“To say that it’s a choice, when you’re talking about the women we work with, is to say that, in fact, it’s okay to just exploit them continually.”

Just Posted

Is Terrace prepared for a rail disaster?

Council asked to review surge in dangerous goods movement: “I live in the blast zone,” says resident

Rainmakers dominant over the weekend

Junior and Senior boys basketball teams score victories over Prince George

City asks residents to write MLA, MP to help with water issues

Prince Rupert council addressed the ongoing water boil notice on Jan. 14

Woman killed in head-on crash near Vanderhoof

RCMP say driver crossed the centre line and hit a loaded fuel tanker truck

Investigating change to B.C.’s licence and quota system

MP Ken Hardie hears from fish harvesters how corporations are favoured under current regime

Storm damaged Rushbrook Trail reopens

Prince Rupert’s harbour-hugging trail had been out of commission for over a month

UPDATE: Accused B.C. high school killer found fit to stand trial

Gabriel Klein is accused in the 2016 stabbing death of Letisha Reimer at Abbotsford Senior Secondary

Right-wing, neo-Nazi, white supremacist groups an increasing concern: Goodale

Ten people died in April 2018 when Alek Minassian allegedly drove a rental van down the busy stretch in Toronto

Canadian stock exchanges to conduct lottery for ‘POT’ ticker amid high demand

The symbol became available after fertilizer Potash Corp. officially merged with Agrium Inc. in early 2018

Millennial Money: Don’t let Instagram envy get you into debt

A full 48 per cent of U.S. households have credit card debt

Jury debates fate of man accused of killing 12-year-old B.C. girl 40 years ago

Police allege Garry Handlen told a cop how he abducted, sexually assaulted and strangled Monica Jack in May 1978

Letters on way to all homeowners in B.C. speculation tax communities

Property owners have to register to avoid vacant-home tax

New orca calf in Salish Sea ‘healthy and active’

Birth cause for celebration but things still dire genetically, expert says

Most Read