June 17, 2014 12:40 pm
Updated: June 17, 2014 12:55 pm

Canadians Talk: Did the government get prostitution laws right?


WATCH: AM640 host Jeff McArthur sits down on The Morning Show to talk about new prostitution laws

TORONTO –Bill C-36 – the Harper government’s attempt at prostitution legislation – makes sex work legal to sell and illegal to buy while also restricting where it can be sold.

Did the government get it right?

AM 640 radio host Jeff McArthur will attempt to answer that and several other questions during a Canadians Talk segment Tuesday evening.

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“[Bill C-36 is] protecting what we consider to be exploited, vulnerable people in Canada,” Justice Minister Peter MacKay said in an interview with McArthur. “Many of them aboriginal women and our unique circumstances and response really reflect that desire to not revictimize women but to protect them and go after the perpetrators.”

The bill was unveiled on June 4 in Ottawa and limits where women can sell sex, prohibiting them from working in a public place where someone could “reasonably expect” children to be present.

“We are criminalizing the purchase of sexual services and in very specific instances the sale or communication of services in areas where young people under the age of 18 could be present,” MacKay said while introducing the legislation.

“So public places as defined by the Criminal Code: malls, recreation centres, neighbourhoods…where children could reasonably expected to be present.”

The federal government was charged with rewriting Canada’s prostitution laws in 2013 after the Supreme Court deemed them unconstitutional. Those laws deemed prostitution itself legal but criminalized almost all related activities including keeping a brothel, living on the avails of prostitution, and street soliciting.

READ MORE: What Canada’s prostitution laws could look like in 2015

McArthur thinks the new laws might too be challenged in court.

“I think there’s an equality challenge that we might see here and there’s also the workplace safety issue. Did the government address what the Supreme Court asked them to?” he asked.


Join the conversation with host Jeff McArthur on Monday, June 17 at 7 p.m. ET as Canadians talk prostitution on the Corus radio network.

  • AM640 (Toronto), CHML (Hamilton) and AM980 (London) from 7-9 p.m. ET
  • CJOB (Winnipeg) from 6-8 p.m. CT
  • NewsTalk770 (Calgary) and CHED (Edmonton) from 5-7 p.m. MT
  • CKNW (Vancouver) from 4-6 p.m. PT

This is part of a series of special conversations on-air and online about the issues that matter to all Canadians.

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