Harper Conservatives’ Bill C-36 beyond repair

Stating that there would be no way to amend the bill in a way that would fix it, Elizabeth May, Leader of the Green Party of Canada and MP for Saanich–Gulf Islands, today proposed that the entire text of the bill be deleted.

The Conservatives’ Bill C-36, the so-called “Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act” was before the House of Commons today for report-stage amendments.

“Far from being a made-in-Canada solution to prostitution, this bill is a made-in-Moscow approach that will only serve to make sex workers’ lives even more precarious,” said May. “The evidence is clear: punitive laws and stigma make it harder for sex workers to access protection.”

Ms. May’s deletion amendment was seconded by Green Deputy Leader Bruce Hyer, MP for Thunder Bay–Superior North.

“C-36 is simply irredeemable,” said Hyer. “The Conservatives could have taken a progressive approach to prostitution reform – like legalizing, regulating and taxing it. Instead, they have brought forward a bill that is clearly unconstitutional, and will further endanger sex workers.”

The Green Party of Canada supports comprehensive Criminal Code reforms that would remove criminal sanctions and develop regulations for legal prostitution between consenting adults, along with enhanced counseling and educational services to assist people trapped in the sex trade through poverty or addiction.