Bill C-36 received Royal Assent on Thursday and is set to become law in a few weeks. People have been asking me what they can do, and I have been seeking answers to that questions. Now, I have one: The Canadian Alliance for Sex Work Law Reform is passing along the recommendation that we write to our premiers, asking our provincial governments to think carefully about constitutionality before enforcing the new laws. I have pasted a template below that you could use for this purpose. If you would like to discuss the issues or if you need any assistance at all, please get in touch!
In British Columbia, you would write to
The Honourable Christy Clark
Premier of British Columbia
Station PROV GOVT
Dear Premier ________:
I am writing to ask you to refer Bill C-36, Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act, the new anti-prostitution laws which is in response to the Bedford decision, to the ___________ (highest court in that province) to determine if they are constitutional. Please do this before pursuing prosecutions under these laws, or directing police to enforce these laws.
Many experts and sex workers have testified that these laws are dangerous for sex workers, and will recreate the harms that previously existed under the old laws. The current Conservative Government has passed these laws despite the objections of those who will be most affected, including the most marginalized and vulnerable, outdoor sex workers.
I am not a sex worker myself, but I believe that sex workers have the same rights as other Canadian citizens, and I believe in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Specifically, I believe that sex workers have the right to life, liberty and security of person. These laws do not respect the constitutional rights of sex workers, and should not be enforced before the courts have evaluated them.
Please refer these laws immediately to the courts, before more harm comes to the sex workers who will be most affected by these laws.