A selection of what was said Monday about the proposed prostitution law

The Canadian Press
July 7, 2014 12:49 PM

Justice Minister Peter MacKay arrives at a Commons Justice committee meeting Monday July 7, 2014 in Ottawa. MacKay was the first witness up at the committee hearing witnesses. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

OTTAWA - In a rare summer hearing, the House of Commons justice committee is examining the federal government's proposed prostitution law, the controversial Bill C-36. Some of what was said on the first day of testimony:

"We believe prostitution is inherently dangerous and exploitative." — Justice Minister Peter MacKay, testifying at the committee.

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"As sure as night follows day, there will be challenges when new bills are presented. So we believe that the likelihood that it will be challenged is very real." — MacKay

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"It should not be acceptable in Canada for someone to buy sex. We want that to be the main message. That's why the Nordic model has been successful in Sweden." — Manitoba Attorney General Andrew Swan, in an interview prior to his testimony.

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"The evidence from Canada and from around the world has made it clear that (the government's) approach creates the conditions for violence, abuse, and human rights violations to occur by driving the sex industry underground where sex workers have little control over the conditions of their work." — Elin Sigurdson, a Vancouver lawyer who advocates for sex workers' rights.

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"This bill does nothing to protect the rights of sex workers in this country. What we will see with this legislation is the same kind of harms that we saw under the same laws that were struck down by the Supreme Court." — Jean McDonald, executive director of Maggie's: The Toronto Sex Workers Action Project.

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"We will see more murdered and missing women as a result of this legislation." — McDonald

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"It's important to stop looking at prostitution as something that is happening between two consenting adults." — Diane Matte, a community organizer from Montreal.


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