(OTTAWA) The criminalization of clients should be included in the Harper government’s proposed amendments to prostitution laws in Canada, says Justice Minister Peter MacKay.
In a telephone interview with La Presse yesterday, Mr. MacKay said he would investigate what is happening elsewhere in the world to respond to the decision of the Supreme Court in December, which struck three provisions of Criminal Code relating to prostitution.
But immediately, the federal politician has expressed interest in the Swedish model, in which France has recently expressed interest. This approach criminalizes the purchase of sexual services by customers, rather than soliciting by prostitutes, as is the case in Canada for another year.
“We will study the decision of the Supreme Court closely and we will turn to the international scene to investigate what other countries have done. The Nordic model, in particular, retains a long attention, “said the minister.
“Focusing on those who commit the crime, that is to say, pimps and customers, will certainly be part of the answer of the Government of Canada,” he added.
In a unanimous decision a few days before Christmas, the Supreme Court declared unconstitutional three prohibitions contained in the Criminal Code, or pimping, soliciting by prostitutes and operating a bawdy house. It held that these rules would endanger the life and safety of sex workers.
The court gave the government one year to change the rules.
So far, the Minister of Justice was merely a terse reaction, a brief statement in which he said he was “concerned” and “committed to ensuring the safety of all Canadians and the well-being of our communities. ”