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Prostitution prosecutions in flux across Canada after 2013 Supreme Court ruling created 'legal vacuum'

In New Brunswick, authorities have largely stopped prosecuting prostitution-related crimes. In Alberta, they are prosecuting to the full extent of the law. In Ontario and B.C., it could go either way, depending.

The Supreme Court of Canada decision that struck down parts of Canada's prostitution laws, but suspended its judgment for a year to let Ottawa come up with a new legislative umbrella, has left the country with a myriad of approaches to prostitution. Several provinces, in fact, haven't yet figured what their approach will be, leaving local authorities to figure it out as they go.

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'Criminalize purchase of sex': Christian group calls Canadian government to end prostitution

OTTAWA, December 12, 2013 ( - Canada's largest group of Evangelical Christians has proposed a way for the federal government to practically end prostitution, namely by following the Nordic model that makes it a crime to pay money to use a woman sexually.

"A change in law that criminalizes the purchase of sexual services will help reshape attitudes about prostitution, making a stronger statement that in Canada we will not tolerate or condone sexual exploitation," said Don Hutchinson, Evangelical Fellowship of Canada's (EFC) Vice-President and General Legal Counsel.

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Vancouver sex workers’ federal prostitution-law challenge can go ahead: Supreme Court

OTTAWA — The Supreme Court of Canada has ruled that Vancouver sex workers can proceed with a legal challenge of the country’s prostitution laws.

The 9-0 ruling dismisses a federal government appeal against the Downtown Eastside Sex Workers United Against Violence Society and former sex worker Sheryl Kiselbach.

The government argued that since no prostitution charges had been laid, the society and Kiselbach lacked the legal standing to pursue the case.

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Former madam warns against legalizing brothels

A former madam warns that organized crime — not sex trade workers — will reap the benefits if Canada’s Supreme Court legalizes brothels.

Tania Fiolleau, a Vancouver-based former madam turned TV talk show host and activist, said she is concerned about the potential ramifications of legalizing brothels.

Canada’s top court finished a week of appeal hearings Friday which could result in a dramatic change to the country’s prostitution laws.

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Feds to appeal brothel ruling

OTTAWA - The federal government said Wednesday it will appeal an Ontario court ruling that, if left unchallenged, could see Canada become the Amsterdam of the North.

Last month, the Ontario Court of Appeal struck down Canada's bawdy house provisions as unconstitutional and amended the pimping provisions of the Criminal Code so that only those exploiting hookers will be prosecuted.

But on Wednesday, Justice Minister Rob Nicholson directed federal lawyers to challenge that ruling in the Supreme Court of Canada.

"It is our position that the Criminal Code provisions are constitutionally sound," Nicholson said in a statement. "It is important to clarify the constitutionality of the law and remove the uncertainty this decision has created. The Criminal Code provisions denounce and deter the most harmful and public aspects of prostitution."

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