When buying and selling sex in Canada is legal, how do you decide what parts of Canada’s Criminal Code criminalizing prostitution-related activities are unconstitutional and deserving of abolition?
Look at the decision from the Ontario Court of Appeal in Canada v. Bedford 2012 ONCA 186 and recognize that while you still cannot communicate in public or in a motor vehicle to discuss the sale of sex, you can sell sex, just like before, without fear of arrest, and in twelve months you can legally offer sexual services from your own bedroom, without being charged for running or occupying a “common bawdy-house”.
So, what is a “common bawdy-house”? The words are used interchangeably with “brothel” and connote vulgarity, indecency, and debauchery. The Ontario Court did not strike down the law on keeping or occupying a common bawdy-house, rather they deleted the word “prostitution” from the definition section which now reads:
“a common bawdy-house is a place kept or occupied for the purpose of prostitution or the practice of acts of indecency”.
With one stroke of a judicial pen, sex workers can soon legally offer their services from their home, an option that was otherwise unavailable to them.
Kind of like a Canadian version of 'Don't Ask-Don't Tell'?