The Conservative Party Convention in Calgary this week is going to vote on a proposal to make paying for sex a criminal offence.
They are suggesting you can give it away for free but the client can't pay.
If the party supports this and Harper likes the idea, Harper can bury it in one of his omnibus budget bills. That would flush years of work in the courts down the drain.
The fact that prostitution is a lawful occupation has been central to the court cases challenging related laws. If Harper changes the law, it becomes a whole new ball game.
Here is the media release and info from the FIRST email list.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Does research inform where Canadian political parties stand on prostitution?
October 28, 2013
The topic of prostitution will be among the policy floor resolutions at the upcoming Conservative convention, which is scheduled to be held at the end of the month in Calgary. The modified resolution on prostitution says that the party will, among other things, seek to develop a plan to criminalize the act of purchasing sex in Canada. Given how little research exists about the clients of sex workers, it is important to ask – what is the basis of the party’s call to criminalize an activity which has never been illegal in Canada?
Considering recent discussions about prostitution law in Canada and internationally, it is not surprising that the topic of prostitution is coming up in political parties' conversations. The Liberals will be voting next year on supporting legalization of prostitution. At their most recent convention, the NDP postponed a vote supporting the party’s position of decriminalization.
As political parties discuss their respective positions on this issue, it is imperative that voices of those who are directly impacted by resulting policies be included in the conversations. This includes the people who sell and purchase sexual services in Canada. For the past several months, our study Sex, Safety & Security has been asking Canadian buyers of sexual services about their experiences. The project is led by Chris Atchison, who has spent 18 years researching experiences of Canadians who pay for sex. His most recently completed work, Johns' Voice (http://www.johnsvoice.ca/) was the largest and the most successful research with sex buyers in Canada to date.
Sex, Safety & Security, a project funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, is one of several that are currently taking place about the sex industry in Canada. We hope that a better understanding of the industry will lead to policies that truly do contribute to and help ensure the wellbeing of all involved in Canada's sex industry.
Department of Sociology
University of Victoria
PO Box 1700 STN CSC
Victoria, BC V8W 2Y2