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

Team Canada loses 5-2 over the Czech Republic at World Junior A Challenge

Vees’ Tychonick drops in one of Team Canada West’s pair of goals

Accent Christmas holidays with delicious chocolates

By SCOTT TRUDEAU Special to the Western News If you’ve been to… Continue reading

Legion bell prank hits sour note

Anger erupts after Summerland Legion member removes bell from Peachland Legion

Vipers snap Vees’ unbeaten run at 13

Vernon hands Penticton first shutout loss of the season, 4-0 at home Saturday

AlleyCats ally with Penticton artist

Artist Terry Isaac gave up some space in his shop at Cherry Lane to help out the AlleyCats Alliance

AlleyCats ally with Penticton artist

Artist Terry Isaac gave up some space in his shop at Cherry Lane to help out the AlleyCats Alliance

Column: The Giller Prize

Fall is awards season for Canadian authors. The big three literary prizes… Continue reading

Vintage Car Club raises funds for hospital

The Vintage Car Club of Canada, South Okanagan, recently donated $5,000 raised… Continue reading

Site C decision coming Monday

Premier John Horgan to announce fate of dam project at B.C. legislature

California couple name daughter after Revelstoke

Revy Elle Atashroo was born on Nov. 27. Her name honours the town her parents loved exploring.

VIDEO: Vancouver Whitecaps acquire star striker Kei Kamara

Kamara has 103 goals and 39 assists in 298 appearances over 11 Major League Soccer seasons

Smartphone pedometers underestimate steps, but valuable health tool: study

UBC researchers found the iPhone underestimated steps by 21.5 per cent

VIDEO: ‘Last Jedi’ premiere kicks off with droids, Daisy Ridley

Latests Star Wars film premiered in style ahead of Dec. 15 theatre debut

Most Read