Updates to the site as of November 6, 2014


With sadness we inform you that Bill C-36, the anti-sex work laws, passed third reading in the Senate on November 4, 2014, with no amendments. It recieved Royal Assent on November 6, 2014, and will become law across the country in 30 days.

This new set of laws will ensure violence against us. Keeping criminalization in place will continue the stigma and social exclusion of sex workers.

Bringing forth the Bedford, Lebovitch, Scott challenge was right!

What the Supreme Court of Canada did was just!

What the Harper government is doing is a travesty!

Know this: we live to fight another day! In all of human history, no government, no army, no religion has ever stopped sex work, nor will they be able to stop what is now a global sex workers rights movement. This isn’t over!

(Click here for the entire Bill C-36)


Are you a sex worker with questions about this bill and it's effects on your work and life?

Please contact us by e-mail or phone located HERE


PRESS RELEASE: Sex Workers’ Mourn the Lives Bill C36 Will Cost Us

Toronto, November 6 2014

Sex workers and our allies will gather together today for a candlelight vigil at 7pm at Queen’s Park. We will gather to show respect to sex workers who have experienced violence as a result of criminalization, and those of us who will experience violence due to Bill C36. 

Today, Bill C-36, The Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act, will pass into law -- frightening, saddening and infuriating our community of people who work in the sex industry, as well as our allies who support the legal, labour, and human rights of sex workers.

Despite its title, C-36 does everything but protect communities and exploited persons. Bill C-36 reproduces and legitimizes the harms of the previous prostitution laws that were declared unconstitutional in the unanimous Supreme Court Bedford decision in December 2013. As long as sex workers’ lives and working conditions are regulated by the Criminal Code, we remain outside of police protection and more vulnerable to targeted violence and exploitations against us.

Our voices have been silenced; our experiences ignored. We will see more violence, abuse and exploitation with Bill C36.

-30-

Candlelight Vigil for Sex Workers and Allies
7pm Queen’s Park, Toronto

Spokespersons:

Akio Maroon (416) 520-4809
Board Member, Maggie’s - Toronto Sex Workers’ Action Project

Valerie Scott (416) 364-5603
Sex Professionals of Canada

Jean McDonald (416) 910-2073
maggiescoord@gmail.com
Executive Director, Maggie’s - Toronto Sex Workers’ Action Project

(June 28, 2014 at Dyke March, Toronto)




Letter from Lawyer for the 'Bedford Challange', Alan Young to Peter MacKay (PDF)



Unanimous Decision!

All Three Laws Struck Down!!

We are ecstatic to hear The Supreme Court of Canada’s decision today!!
With its ruling, the court has recognized the need for sex workersʼ safety and acknowledging our work as labour.

Sex Professionals of Canada holds that sex workers are part of the community and should be allowed the safety, liberty, respect and inclusion guaranteed to all. The laws against bawdy houses, living on the avails, and communication, forced us to work in dangerous conditions and prevented us from conducting our business like other workers. With this ruling, across Canada, we finally have an end to the criminalization of sex work!

The Court has placed a stay on the laws for one-year. There is still more to come. Parliament and municipalities can pass laws which can continue to harm us. It is imperative that sex workers are at the forefront of anything being purposed, as we are the true experts in our lives and work.

~Sex Professionals of Canada

The Supreme Court of Canada's decision can be found HERE


December 17, 2013, International Day to end Violence Against Sex Workers. Click HERE for SPOC's Press release in PDF.



Nadine Gurczenski's family is seeking information on her murder (1999). They are working with a documentary film crew.

Please click HERE to view the poster.


The Bedford, Lebovitch & Scott landmark challenge to Canada's prostitution laws.

{Each decision can be found by clicking on the word decision at each court level}

Previous court decisions on our challenge

First Level

Ontario Superior Court. Decision released:  September 28, 2010

Second Level

Court of Appeal for Ontario. Decision released: March 26, 2012

Third and Final Level

Supreme Court of Canada, heard this case Thursday, June 13, 2013

Webcast of proceedings at the Supreme Court is archieved HERE

The Court heard the Federal government and the AG of Ontario's appeal as well as our cross appeal. We are seeking invalidation of communicating section 213(1)(c) and the Ontario court of appeal rewrite of living on the avails 212(1)(j).

Final Decision

December 20, 2013, the Supreme Court of Canada made its unanimous nine to zero ruling in our favour, striking down all three of the prostitution laws, deeming them unconstitutional. Decision can be found HERE


To view the laws in their entirety, and the subsections we are challenging, click HERE.

Media and Public Awareness

SPOC members are available for conversations & interviews with media, students and the general public.

Our contact information can be found HERE

We are available to speak at universities, colleges and conferences. Some topics we can cover; Stigma, Myths of Sex Work(ers), What is Sex Work? Sex work under decriminalization, legalization, criminalization and the nordic model (asymmetrical decriminalization) & much more!

We are also available for interviews regarding our constitutional challenge to the Canadian Criminal Code (CCC) sections, 210 (bawdy house), 212(1)(j) (living on the avails) and 213(1)(c) (communicating for the purpose of prostitution)

We are happy to provide you with:

  • The reasons why we are challenging the above laws.

  • How these laws have affected sex workers.

  • How these sections of the CCC have directly resulted in the robberies, beatings, rapes and murders of our colleagues.

  • Analysis of this challenge.


Mission & Principles

1. SPOC is a volunteer run activist network that engages in advocacy and education.

2. SPOC operates on the principle that all forms of consensual adult sex work are valid occupations.

3. SPOC maintains that sex workers have the capacity for choice and our experiences are diverse.

4. SPOC maintains that sex workers deserve labour rights, and occupational health and safety standards defined by sex workers themselves.

5. SPOC members and associates oppose those who seek to ‘rescue’ sex workers using force or coercive measures including court imposed re-education/exit programs, jails or camps.

We stand for the decriminalization of all forms of sex work in Canada. We oppose legalization because it is always exploitive toward sex workers.

Membership

If you are a current or former sex worker, or an associate interested working toward the decriminalization of sex work while having fun and connecting with others, please do not hesitate to contact us. We encourage membership from all communities, sexual orientations and genders.

Donations

As an entirely volunteer sex worker run organization, we rely on the generous support of our community and supporters. SPOC gratefully accepts donations to assist us in our work.

Donations can be made via Pay Pal by clicking the button below

or by cheque/money order payable to:

Sex Professionals of Canada.  P.O. Box # 305, 400 Parliament St., Toronto, ON,  M5A-2Z7