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Women’s Advocates Applaud New Prostitution Bill
By Avery Moore - Blackburn News

Just months after launching a postcard campaign asking the government to change prostitution laws to protect women, the London Abused Women’s Centre is applauding new efforts to shield prostituted women.

On Wednesday, the federal government tabled a plan to increase penalties for johns, and earmarked funds to try and persuade women to leave the sex trade. The new legislation would criminalize the purchase of sexual services and crack down on third parties who profit from prostitution.

London Abused Women’s Centre Executive Director Megan Walker says she has been advocating for this move toward the similar “Nordic Model” for years.

Walker says the tabling of the bill –that Justice Minister Peter McKay is calling the “Canadian Model”–  is a historic move towards equality and the end of violence against women.

The newly tabled legislation is the federal government’s response to a Supreme Court decision that struck down three large pieces of the country’s prostitution laws.

The court ruled the laws against living off the avails of prostitution, operating a bawdy house and communicating for the purpose of selling sex were unconstitutional. In December, the Bedford ruling gave the government a year to replace those provisions.

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