Canada Prostitution Bill Signed Into Law

Rhett Pardon

OTTAWA — A nationwide prostitution bill in Canada was signed into law last week.

The law, a product of a December 2013 Canada Supreme Court ruling, legalizes the sale of sex. Interactions and communications between prostitutes, johns and pimps, however, remain illegal. And so is the purchase of sex.

Bill C-36, the Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act, is designed after the “Nordic model” of prostitution first adopted by Sweden in 1999, in which prostitution itself is not illegal, but paying for the act of sex is.

Last year, the Canada Supreme Court gave Parliament one year to draft new legislation that would pass a legal test.

"Parliament has the power to regulate against nuisances, but not at the cost of the health, safety and lives of prostitutes," Chief Justice Beverley McLaughlin wrote at the time.

The court gave the Canadian federal government a year to amend the laws so that they conform with the protections of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms or let them expire next next month.