Legal Prostitution is Coming to Canada

Read the Judge’s Decision

Ontario Superior Court Justice Susan Himel has struck down three provisions of Canada’s anti-prostitution laws, saying:

“These laws, individually and together, force prostitutes to choose between their liberty interest and their right to security of person as protected under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms,” Himel wrote in a 132-page decision. “I find that the danger faced by prostitutes greatly outweighs any harm which may be faced by other members of the public.”

The lack of law in Ontario takes place in 30 days; but the case has to go to the Supreme Court of Canada to be coast to coast.

Unsurprisingly, the current conservative government of the day is considering an appeal.

And it’s certainly no surprise that the Christian Legal Fellowship, R.E.A.L. Women and the Catholic Civil Rights League were interventions in the case and argued against decriminalizing sex work.

The only surprise for me was that R.E.A.L. women were still around – they emerged in the mid 90’s, a Ladies Against Women sort of organization who promote that women should be at home with the kids; so you have to wonder what they are doing on the talk show circuit.

Decriminalization is a step short of legalizing – the activity or substance isn’t legal or illegal – it’s left in a limbo wink wink keep it to yourself and we can pretend that you’re not doing it zone.

Like abortion in Canada – the law against abortion was struck down and never replaced. For American readers, any Canadian politician who doesn’t want to be elected has only to mention “abortion” to guarantee defeat.

In Canada, we don’t like to make public debate over private matters – so yes to arguing over Quebec separatism but not so much anything remotely sex related. We’ve seen how the US is do divided over private matters that tend to not be of concern to the public.

Back to the topic.

Religious groups, righteous wing groups and the conservative government all seek to control and restrict women’s freedom of choice, bodily integrity and, well, basically women’s lives.

The reasons to decriminalize and even legalize sex work is clear to anyone except the righteous.

Sex workers are safer when they are not forced into the shadows, when they can access police for help with problem Johns, when they can if not unionize, at least work in co-op brothels with bouncers, regular medical check ups and safety.

Legalized, there is more likely to be a reduction in child prostitution, and the pimps would go the way of the dinosaurs. This would also reduce the drug addiction and eliminate a lot of the criminal element in the sex worker world.

I don’t know how any person who considers themselves to be moral would oppose legal changes that increase the safety, improve health and reduce the exploitation of women, transgendered people and teens or children of all genders.

Wait, those “moral” types are always more concerned about pushing their idea of moral into the public square, no matter who is harmed – which always seems to be women, children and other minorities. Including gays and lesbians.

The Religious Righteous can’t full court press for what they really want – women and ethnic minorities unable to vote and second class, children seen but not heard and open season on gays and lesbians who escape from their Go Down for Jesus therapy.

Prostitution is the oldest profession, and comparatively recent religious sentiment is not going to end it.

Prohibition causes more problems than it ever solves, yet we seem to as a society need to constantly be reminded of that.

Prohibition gives organized crime a solid economic base of operations. This also results in policing costs, lost tax revenue and people pushed to the margins so dark that they aren’t looked for when they disappear in a serial killer’s car.

Ideally, no one should have to be a sex worker. It’s not naive but rather purposeful idiocy to pretend that people are ever going to stop buying and selling sex.

If we care about safety, health and equality, then we need to legalize prostitution and stop forcing sex workers to be marginalized, vulnerable and unable to access police or have the same civil rights as everyone else.

People who fall, drift or chose sex work are not second class or lesser than anyone else – but people who would put their chosen and so called morals over the safety and civil rights of others, really are the  second class people who, too often, have more than their share of civil rights and public influence.

Given how many religious leaders are exposed as adulterers, embezzlers, addicts and if they are anti-gay, turn out to be deep down low self loathing closet cases is is astonishing how can they claim to have the inside track on morality that they seek to impose on other people who do not share their religion or their beliefs.

So, here’s a message from Elvis to everyone who thinks that they can run someone else’s life better:

So, can decriminalized or even legalized marijuana be that far behind?

The back deck project

Project Weekend One

Now that the front yard is taking shape – okay, except for some weeding and planting the seedlings we’ve been sprouting – it’s time to make the back patio and deck our spring and summer oasis.

the furniture clutter under the overhang

Normally, this area is not like this – In the far left corner you can see the last remaining wall of the garden shed, where the furniture and non-electrical yard tools were kept.

When the windstorm knocked this shed down – and this is not a product we’re every buying again – wood sheds or nothing – we had to get everything out before the total collapse – and it ended up in a heap here.

But, since the weather is getting nicer – we’re setting out the deck furniture.

We have more than last year, as the folks next door moved out to a smaller place and we bought a set of living room type outdoor furniture from them.

So, we have an outside kitchen, living room and dining room. If we had more bushes in the yard, there’d be a bathroom too and we could live in the yard!

Here’s the reverse view of the upper and lower decks:

covered in pots and pots of plants

The wire fence is a portable dog kennel – stretched out to keep the dogs off the deck – they like to eat the potting soil.

In the blue barrel foreground is our new fig tree, there’s strawberries in the pale rectangle containers on the railing, 4 kinds of blueberries, a pink Aspen hydrangea in the far front corner, honeysuckle outside the railing, a kiwi inside with the wood lattice, and many herbs usually 2 to 3 kinds of rosemary, oregano, basil, thyme, and winter & summer savory are the staples. A few other herbs like catnip which is supposed to repel ants, but is also fun for the cats and last year I added lemongrass.

Lemongrass has a strong citronella scent and it’s supposed to be good to discourage wasps – and it’s nice to break off some stalks, wrap it around chicken or pork and BBQ for a Vietnamese flavoured dish.

Hops on the side yard

We also got these containers and lattices from the folks who moved – they are hops. I don’t think that they ever made beer from them, but they are an attractive vine plant that adds some privacy and greenness.

This is also our morning glory problem area – I sprayed it with the salt and picking vinegar to get the vines dying and then we ripped it all out down to the roots that we could reach – I’ll be adding more vinegar this weekend and hopefully the wretched stuff won’t be back next year.

Project Weekend Two

the tidy up begins

We’ve decided how to lay out the planters on the deck and have started to shift things around.

Instead of the 6 hanging baskets on the inside, we’ve moved them entirely to the front rail alternating in and out.

We’re going to have the hops on the outside and the clematis climbers on the inside of the side railing. The Alpine Hydrangea stays in the side front corner, surrounded by the blueberries. The hanging baskets on the inside have herbs and the outside ones have wave petunias – which finally arrived and we bought 16 – half for the front window boxes and half for here – they are danglers so hopefully the goldens won’t eat them.

the alternating hanging baskets

from the outside

You can just see the goldens checking out their slightly reduced yard size – we moved the small iron fence that stopping them running down the side yard in morning glory land to just even with the deck so they don’t eat the dirt from the hops.

arty or documenting clutter?

fuzzy clematis starting to flower

honeysuckle starting to bud - soon the humming birds arrive

loaded for blueberries

And I really can’t wait for our first back yard fruit salad of blueberries, strawberries, cherries and the blackberries that peek over the fence from the back fence neighbour’s yard!