Ontario’s highest court strikes many of the laws that prohibit prostitution essentially making it legal to run a brothel
The landmark decision handed out by the Court of Appeal for Ontario in Canada v. Bedford has essentially legalized brothels or “bawdy houses” while exploitation of prostitutes by pimps remain illegal. The highly controversial decision was challenged because a lack of Constitutional protection existed for sex trade workers.
The legal irregularity was that although prostitution was legal in Canada, many of the activities surrounding prostitution were illegal, which created confusion and an unsafe working environment for prostitutes. Activities like running a brothel or bawdy house, communicating for the purpose of prostitution and living off the avails of prostitution were all illegal.
These illegal activities have either been eradicated or limited by this landmark decision. The ruling in Canada v. Bedford 2012 ONCA 186, has changed the landscape of these laws to enable prostitutes to work in brothels, hire bodyguards and hire drivers. The Court’s ruling provides prostitutes with the same level of Constitutional protection as others engaged in dangerous activities and in turn erodes the social stigma that is often attached to this line of work.
The federal government has appealed this decision and it is now for the highest court in the land to decide the fate of prostitutes and the protections they will be afforded under the Constitution.
The global movement for social and economic inequality that commenced in New York and spread around the world like a forest fire appears to be burning out. Although, the protesters have remained determined and unrelenting in their cause they appear to be losing the battle and have been ordered to leave by politicians, judges and in some places by the sheer unbalanced power of the police.
Fortunately, the protests in Toronto have been peaceful and without incident until today. The removal of the protests have been brought under question as the protesters have argued that their camps and tents are an embodiment of their constitutionally protected right to freedom of expression.
On the other side, the city has used every conceivable by-law at their disposal to obtain the removal of the protesters after five weeks of peaceful protesting. The mayor of Toronto, Rob Ford and his allies on city council have managed to use the guise of garbage removal, winterizing parks, and the loss of local business to move their agenda forward and evict the protesters from St. James Park.
The ruling today by Justice Brown stated that the city's trespass order was "constitutionally valid” and that the protesters failed to meet their onus and demonstrate that the city’s actions infringed on their Charter of Rights.
For more information you can read the CBC article at: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/story/2011/11/21/occupy-toronto-court-decision.html