Victory at the Supreme Court

December 20, 2013, Canada (Attorney General) v. Bedford, 2013 SCC 72 (CanLII)

The Supreme Court of Canada Upheld in full the decision of Justice Susan Himel of the Ontario Superior Court. The opposition to her ruling has been exposed as unfounded. This is a victory for all Canadians because it means the government must take specific positions in the laws it passes as to what consenting adults can and cannot do in private for free or for money. If they fail to do this there will be no enforceable laws against prostitution – which they must also now define. Remember, the government appealed the initial decision without even reading it. Remember that the government insisted that the laws were constitutional right up until the Supreme Court ruling. Remember therefore that the government has lost all credibility on this matter, and any new laws to control freedom or to enhance safety must pass the scrutiny not only of Parliament but of knowledgeable commentators, such as lawyers and professors, as well. Remember that if the government tries to tell us that pre-marital or extra-marital sex has to be for free, they are trying to impose an old morality that has no business in a free country.

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You can look at all the key documents available to the public at the Bedford Safe Haven Initiative.

Case Background:

In 2007, Professor Alan Young and his legal team challenged three of Canada’s laws intended to restrict prostitution, whatever that is. I was one of three plaintiffs and the case is called Bedford Versus Canada. The basis for the challenge is that the laws caused harm, were discriminatory and worked more against than for their aims. Prostitution is legal in itself, but having a regular location for it, hiring people to help and communicating to screen clients are considered crimes under existing law.

September 28, 2010, Bedford v. Canada, 2010 ONSC 4264 (CanLII)

After three years of hearings, with 25,000 pages of evidence and cross-examination, the judge ruled completely in our favour. In a 131 page decision the judge said, "I declare that the bawdy-house provision, the living on the avails of prostitution provision, and the communication provision... are unconstitutional... and to strike the word 'prostitution' from the definition of 'common bawdy-house'". The judge also said that the laws, "... are not in accord with the principals of fundamental justice and must be struck down".

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March 26, 2012, Canada (Attorney General) v. Bedford, 2012 ONCA 186 (CanLII)

The Ontario Court of Appeal upheld most of the lower court’s decision. Hearings at the Supreme Court of Canada were held in June 2013.

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