What cruel irony that Bill C-36 will officially become law on Dec. 6, the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women, commemorating the 14 women who were massacred in Montreal in 1989.
Bill C-36, the Harper government’s Orwellian-named The Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act, received royal assent on Nov. 6.
The law now makes communication for the purposes of prostitution a criminal offense by criminalizing clients and restricting the advertising of sex services. This will actually makes sex work more dangerous. Sex workers say the law will only drive the trade further underground, putting them at more risk of violence.
Of course, C-36 has everything to do with moralism and pearl-clutching white saviours in Ottawa forcing a socially conservative agenda through. Bill C-36 is a gift for the Conservative party’s evangelical voters. A federal election is just around the corner.
This is the same government trying to kill C-279, a bill that would ensure trans people are protected under the hate crimes provisions in the Criminal Code and provide equality rights under the Canadian Human Rights Act. It’s also the same government that is unwilling to investigate the thousands of missing and murdered Indigenous women, a population that’s especially vulnerable under C-36.
“We know from the Missing Women Inquiry report authored by Wally Oppal that the criminal regulation of prostitution contributes to the marginalization of women,” points out Naomi Sayers in an open letter to Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne.