While the act of exchanging sex for money has been legal for most of Canada's history, the prohibition of the activities surrounding the sex trade has made it difficult to practise prostitution without breaking any law. The first recorded laws dealing with prostitution were in Nova Scotia in 1759.Following Canadian Confederation in 1867, the laws were consolidated in the Criminal Code in 1892.
In a decision dated 20 December 2013, the Supreme Court of Canada struck down the laws in question.
They delayed the enforcement of their decision for one year—also applicable to the Ontario sections—to give the government a chance to write new laws. That's why you must bring sex workers to the table in a meaningful way." The passage of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms in 1982 allowed for the provision of challenging the constitutionality of laws governing prostitution in Canada in addition to interpretative case law.
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OCA at 364 'Prostitution' is not defined in Canadian statute law, but is based on case law which deems that three elements are necessary to establish that prostitution is taking place: (i) provision of sexual services, (ii) the indiscriminate nature of the act (soliciting rather than choosing clients), and (iii) the necessity for some form of payment.
The court also granted the motion to stay the Ontario Court of Appeal decision until judgement is passed, meaning that the Criminal Code sections at stake were still in force in Ontario.
Automobiles are considered public spaces if they can be seen.
On the other hand, working as an independent sex worker and private communication for such purposes (telephone, internet, e-mail, etc.) is legal.
Chief Justice Beverley Mc Lachlan wrote: These appeals and the cross-appeal are not about whether prostitution should be legal or not.
They are about whether the laws Parliament has enacted on how prostitution may be carried out pass constitutional muster. I would therefore make a suspended declaration of invalidity, returning the question of how to deal with prostitution to Parliament.
Many sex workers' rights organizations, however, argue that the new law entrenches and maintains harm against sex workers.