OTTAWA — It’s “sick and twisted” that Canada’s controversial new prostitution bill comes into force on a day dedicated to eradicating violence against women, says one of the women behind a successful court challenge of the old laws.
The new legislation, known as the Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act, comes into force on Saturday, Dec. 6, which is also the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women.
The day — the anniversary of the shooting deaths of 14 women at Ecole Polytechnique in Montreal at the hands of gunman Marc Lepine — has evolved into an occasion to commemorate all female victims of violence.
Those who work in the sex industry have expressed their disdain for the new prostitution laws, which they fear will result in more victims, not fewer.
“I think that it’s a really sick and twisted day for it to happen,” said Valerie Scott, one of three women behind the landmark Supreme Court case that declared Canada’s legislation on prostitution unconstitutional.
“That day should not solely be for women who were murdered by Marc Lepine, it should also be for women who were murdered by Robert Pickton.
“We’re excluded from all these events.”