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Federal government will likely appeal prostitution ruling
Published Tuesday, September 28, 2010 5:59PM MDT
The Harper government says it will likely appeal a court ruling which strikes down parts of Canada's prostitution laws.
The ruling was made on Tuesday by an Ontario judge after three sex-trade workers launched a challenge.
The workers argued the current laws put their lives at risk because it limits their ability to talk to prospective clients to figure out if they might be dangerous.
Justice Susan Himel sided with the workers and struck three laws down for being unconstitutional.
Thanks to Tuesday's ruling it is now legal to run a bawdy house, communicate for the purpose of prostitution, and live off the avails of prostitution.
A Calgary criminal defense lawyer applauds the ruling. "The bottom line is there's no Julia Roberts story when you meet people who are involved in the sex trade. So I think if [sex-trade workers] can keep themselves safe then that's a good thing," says David Andrews.
Calgary police say despite Tuesday's ruling they will continue to enforce prostitution laws until they are told otherwise.
"For the Calgary Police Service, it's business as usual," says SSgt. Don Coleman. "The ink is still wet on the 136 page decision that still has to be reviewed, debated, possibly appealed, and decided on a higher level."
In her ruling, Himel says "I also recognize that a consequence of this decision may be that unlicensed brothels may be operated, and in a way that may not be in the public interest."
The federal government now has 30 days to come up with new laws.
Andrews says this case will likely go all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada.