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

Heat warning rescinded for Central and South Okanagan

Kelowna - It’s expected to cool off a bit this week

Lighting strikes spark 38 fires in B.C., 13 in the region

13 new fires in the Okanagan have been reported from the BC Wildfire Service Tuesday night.

Penticton fire offers tips to stay safe during wildfire season

Penticton Fire Chief Larry Watkinson reminds all residents that wildfire season is here

City keeps pushing forward on downtown issues

The City of Penticton isn’t letting up on their campaign to reduce street issues

Update: Lightning sparks blaze above Summerland

Firefighters are battling the small fire from the area that occurred Tuesday shortly after 7 p.m.

Firefighters respond to roadside brush fire

Fire next to Highway 97 being brought under control.

Elon Musk apologizes for calling cave rescue diver a ‘pedo’

Musk called a British diver involved in the Thailand cave rescue a pedophile to his 22.3 million Twitter followers on July 15.

Trudeau shuffles familiar faces, adds new ones to expanded cabinet

Justin Trudeau shuffleS his front bench Wednesday to install the roster of ministers that will be entrusted with leading the Liberal team into next year’s election.

Ingenious Okanagan beatboxer featured in video series

Nuge Bird uses beatboxing and comedy as a way to overcome his challenges

Search continues for missing North Okanagan-Shuswap women

Search planned for July 21-22 to start behind Splatsin Community Centre in Enderby

Lightning strikes West Kelowna condo

Fire crews were called to a building on Carrington Road Tuesday night

Lightning sparks wildfires in Vernon

Tuesday night storm causes wildfire in BX and residential fire in East Hill

Crash closes Highway 5A in both directions

A collision has shut down Highway 5A about 22 kilometres south of the junction with Highway 97C

Most Read