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Guest Prostitution law in Canada
Saskatoon brothel owner slams new prostitution law

Says bill makes sex workers less safe


First Posted: Jun 5, 2014 5:02pm | Last Updated: Jun 5, 2014 5:10pm Source ckom.com


The owner of a Saskatoon brothel is calling Wednesday's announcement of a proposed new prostitution law a dark day for Canada.


The new bill is the federal government's response to a Supreme Court of Canada decision in December 2013 that struck down several Criminal Code provisions that applied to prostitution. The bill would criminalize the purchase of sexual services and bring in provisions that would once again outlaw communicating for the purposes of prostitution, albeit with the focus on clients, rather than sex workers.


Trish Fisher of Lion's Den Adult Services Studio said the legislation is a failure on multiple counts.


First, she said the bill's emphasis on treating all sex workers as unwilling victims doesn't jive with the reality of the industry.


"Some women enjoy this job. Some men enjoy this job. Leave them to do it ... there are people who choose to do this, that should be allowed and awarded all of the respect due any profession in this country,'" she said. 


Fisher also said the new law doesn't distinguish between her business, which operates openly under the City of Saskatoon's adult services bylaw -- and street-level prostitution.


"The street workers are a different ball game. That's a whole other industry that has nothing to do with us. It's often poverty and addiction driven. But these laws will not help them either," she said.


One example Fisher gave were provisions aimed at pimps that prohibit living off the avails of prostitution. Fisher said the law could also mean that sex-workers can't hire bodyguards.


"Anyone in this country can hire someone to watch their back, except for us, the ones who need it," she said.


Fisher went on to say that, in her view, the new bill's targeting of clients will ultimately criminalize many people who ought not to be targeted by the justice system.


"My average clientele would be a gentleman who might be in his 60's. Who might be widowed or divorced, who's not interested in starting a relationship again at this point in his life ... this is not a pedophile trawling 20th Street looking for a young girl.


That brought Fisher to argue that in many ways, the new law is a solution in search of a problem.


"We already have current laws in place that address human trafficking, making and distribution of child pornography, exploitation in any way of anyone, forced labour, pedophilia, sexual assault, underage workers -- we've got laws that cover the victims," she said.


Ultimately, Fisher pointed out that the Supreme Court struck down the old laws on the grounds that they made conditions more dangerous for sex-workers, in violation of their Charter rights.  She said she doesn't think the new law addresses that issue and said she's hopeful it too will be challenged in court and struck down.

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