Terri-Jean Bedford responds to new proposed prostitution laws

Reprinted with permission

Unlike the government I have read the document in question and had it carefully explained to me by experts. The new law would basically prohibit the purchasing of and advertising of sex for sale. It would also penalize persons who were in an exploitative relationship with sex trade workers. Mr. MacKay called sex work degrading and said other means must also be added by other bodies to enable women to get out of the sex trade.

I see now why Mr. Harper told McKay to table the bill while he was out of the country. The bill is a rework of the old legislation and will fare no better. We may not even need a constitutional challenge to gut it. It spits in the face of the courts and judges will know this. It repeats the legal and safety shortcomings of the old laws. It does not even define what is and what is not a sex act. As a dominatrix I need to know this so I can punish Mr. Harper for such incompetence.

Mr. MacKay called the sex trade degrading. Who the hell is he to tell women they have to only have sex for free? Who the hell is he to tell consenting adults what they can and cannot do in private? How can he stand for a ban on advertising an activity that is legal? I have news for him. Many women love being sex trade workers. Many men who visit sex trade workers, which include some well known members of his own party, are prominent and highly regarded members of society who love their families.

This is the same government that kept insisting that the old laws were constitutional and should be kept. Are we going to believe them now? Neither he nor Mr. McKay nor the dumped Mr. Nicholson would say if they had read the decision of Justice Himel which the Supreme Court endorsed. It said there are plenty of existing laws which address the worst aspects of prostitution, aside from the ones she struck down.

Politics is the oldest profession. Mr. Harper and Mr. MacKay have trumped up incompetent and unethical legislation so they can blame the courts when all restrictions on the sex trade, as distinct from other forms of business, are finally removed. Just like the rest of his “Tough on Crime Agenda” this is a scam and ignores real measures that could be taken to protect Canadian women. Organized crime, human traffickers and exploitative pimps are celebrating today. Mr. Harper is encouraging the women in the sex trade to go underground, where these evil people lie in wait.

Guest post by Naomi Sayers – How to be an ally to indigenous activism

Nikki’s notes: As an activist, I’m pretty used to speaking on my own behalf. I usually know how to effectively discuss some of the issues affecting the communities I try to represent; I don’t claim that my perspective is entirely representative of the community as a whole – far from it – but at least I’m somewhat in tune with the wider issues, even when I’m not entirely clear on the specifics. But as an ally, I’m aware of the gaps in my own knowledge, and I try to ask others who are more informed than I am to help me fill those gaps – not so I can advocate on their behalf, but simply to help me gain a little bit of understanding.

Please enjoy this guest blog post from the awesome Naomi Sayers – I’ve learned a lot from reading her words and her blog, and hopefully you’ll learn from it too. Continue reading