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Hon. Mobina S. B. Jaffer:
Honourable senators, my question is for the Leader of the Government in the Senate.
Leader, since Bill C-36 on prostitution was tabled in the other place, the Liberal Senate forum has received a number of questions from the public on this matter. This question was submitted by Jenna Simpson from Toronto and it was addressed to you. I would like to ask this question on her behalf. She states:
The new proposed bill on sex work, Bill C-36, purports to protect vulnerable women from the abuses of prostitution by criminalizing the purchase of sex. However, the bill does much of the same work that the old Criminal Code provisions did — the very provisions that the Supreme Court struck down six months ago.
In particular, the bill recriminalizes communicating in a public place for the purpose of trading sexual services for money. This was one of the key provisions found to make sex workers less safe, thereby violating their right to security of the person.
How will this new bill keep women who work in the sex trade safe, if the very same acts that were found by the Supreme Court to make sex work less safe for sex workers are simply recriminalized from the demand side rather than the supply side?