Three parts of the Trudeau government’s Bill C-36. The legislation prohibits communicating for prostitution and hiring sex workers who are under 18. The legislation also imposes fines and even jail time on clients if they don’t get their sex worker clients to present identification at a given location.
“The law’s rationale is that ads for sex should be ‘broadly based.’ This leads to the misimposition of social taboos that may prohibit sex workers from telling prospective clients who they are,” said Madeleine Meilleur, Canada’s Minister of Justice, in a statement.
Today, the court is scheduled to hear an appeal from sex workers seeking clarification about three pieces of the bill, which date back to last year: The advertising restrictions, the ban on customers paying sex workers in exchange for items of value and the requirement that sex workers get clients to show identification.
“They say things that are not correct. They say this in the wording of the law, but they often don’t have the facts or in the cases in which there are doubt, they misrepresent the facts of the law,” said Nicole Morris, head of the Alberta Sex Workers Association.
The government of Canada and Justice Canada released a statement following the appeal arguing the sex workers were not adequately represented in the initial case.
“That said, the government shares concerns about new criminal offences that will impact children or vulnerable persons; sex work in the context of violence; human trafficking and how to protect sex workers who work in massage parlors and brothels,” Justice Canada spokesperson Kathleen Perchaluk said in an email to CNN.