Ontario courts move to decriminalize prostitution

This from the Toronto Globe and Mail:

A Superior Court justice gutted the federal prostitution law in Ontario on Tuesday, allowing sex-trade workers to solicit customers openly and paving the way for judges in other provinces to follow suit.

The decision is likely to resonate here in the North Country of New York, which borders Ontario.  Sexual tourism is already a sometimes controversial issue in Quebec.

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18 Comments on “Ontario courts move to decriminalize prostitution”

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  1. It's All Bush's Fault says:

    It is refreshing to the open-mindedness of our northern neighbors. I would like to see NYS legalize pot before pros, but I guess I’ll settle for what we can get. There is a vast amount of untapped revenue in these businesses if we could only get some of these uptight politicians to see the light.

  2. Pete Klein says:

    Just think what legalized prostitution and topless bars would do for ski and snowmobile business. We wouldn’t even need snow to attract those visitors.
    Just don’t get carried away on the taxes.

  3. Bret4207 says:

    Yeah, maybe next we can legalize child prostitution and narcotics, maybe have live snuff shows. Cool. Think of the tax revenue those uptight politicians are missing out on….

  4. If Clapton is God, Warren Haynes is Jesus says:


    You confuse me. On the one hand you advocate for less gov’t and the elimination of wasteful spending (which I entirely agree with) yet you support obviously failed and extremely wasteful policies which actually allow more overreaching gov’t into the lives of otherwise law abiding adults. Some of the rational for legalizing and regulating prostitution is in fact to prevent some of the evils you mention (child prostitution, human trafficking, disease, etc..). And as far as marijuana is concerned, it’s pretty obvious that the prohibition on drugs is an utter failure. The bizarre part of the rational for the continued absurdity of all this is that we have other examples in our society of completely legal activities which also have very negative downsides. Tobacco, alcohol, gambling abuse, etc…Why are things like prostitution and drug use held to a “higher standard” for lack of a better term?

  5. It's All Bush's Fault says:

    I think the jump to child prostitution and narcotics was a bit extreme. So much for any reasonable discussion on this topic.

  6. If Clapton is God, Warren Haynes is Jesus says:

    “So much for any reasonable discussion on this topic.”

    And there in lies the problem. Whenever the chance for honest and forthright debate on such issues presents itself, supporters of the status quo start the fear mongering or use extreme examples to justify their positions. And sure, sometimes they’re legitimate concerns. But again, we have plenty of examples already existing in society where there’s extreme examples of the negatives associated with certain policies but we’re willing to live with them for the better of society. Why do the extremes of prostitution/drugs get more traction? Is it a society thing? Because these issues are cash cows for the criminal justice/prison complex? What, I wonder?

  7. It's All Bush's Fault says:

    You has to be able to look beyond their pre-conceived notions to appreciate the other side of the debate. There are benefits to bringing things like prostitution and marijuana out into the light of day. Why should something like prostitution be criminalized? If alcohol and tobacco are legal, why shouldn’t marijuana be legal?

  8. Pete Klein says:

    Speaking of prostitution, there was a weird story on News 10 last night.
    Seems some guy went to one police station claiming he was raped by another guy, who after raping him gave him $35 and a $5 lottery ticket to not report the rape.
    He was told by the police the incident did not take place in their jurisdiction and he should report the incident at a police station that had jurisdiction, which he did. When he did, he was arrested for prostitution.
    I guess this is progress. Now guys who claim to have been raped are treated by the police like women who claim to have been raped.
    By the way, whatever really happened or didn’t happen, I think News 10 was wrong to report this, at least until the facts sort themselves out, if they ever do.
    In news, the saying goes that blood leads. I guess anything about sex leads too.

  9. Bret4207 says:

    Clapton and Bush, I was trying to go to extremes. I don’t so subtle real well.

    This is why I’m not a libertarian, in fact it’s about all the separates me from the libertarian platform. I feel citizens have a right to expect certain protections, among them from the intoxicated. IMO that affects my life, liberty and pursuit of happiness The libertarian view is as long as the drunk/high/stoned guy doesn’t physically harm me he’s golden. I don’t buy that, it harms us all directly and indirectly. If that’s confusing I’m sorry and I plead guilty. Same for prostitution, I see no good in it.

    I never claimed perfection or to have all the answers. I have my gut feelings like everyone else and see no good coming from drug, alcohol, tobacco or any other types of abuse or allowing people to degrade themselves for money. I’ve experienced the effects of all 3 items and prostitution in one respect or another. Convince me of the good it provides beyond tax revenue which should be the last thing we think of. I’ve never seen benefits. but I’ll listen.

  10. If Clapton is God, Warren Haynes is Jesus says:

    The tax revenue and wasted resources trying to prohibit choice is secondary in my mind. The freedom of choice to do with my body whatever I wish without “big gov’t” telling me otherwise, is my biggest reason why I support reform.

    And you mention it harming other people. Good point, but we’ve managed to regulate the use of alcohol and tobacco as a means to avoiding harm to others for decades, why can’t we attempt to do the same with drug use and prostitution? Granted the current efforts toward that goal are an ongoing issue, but at least there’s an effort being made. It seems strange to me that we can’t find a middle ground with drug use and prostitution as we seem capable of doing with alcohol and tobacco (which strangely are arguably far more harmful to not only the user but to those around them).

  11. Bret4207 says:

    “…but we’ve managed to regulate the use of alcohol and tobacco as a means to avoiding harm to others for decades, why can’t we attempt to do the same with drug use and prostitution?”

    To put it bluntly, because we suck at it. It never seems to end well. People still get behind the wheel drunk and go home and beat their kids if they’re fortunate enough not to kill someone enroute. People still get cancer and pass the costs onto the rest of us. Kids still steal to get money for drugs and booze and addicts hurt their friends and families everyday.

    I guess I just have no faith in legislating common sense.

  12. If Clapton is God, Warren Haynes is Jesus says:

    Absolutely Bret, but yet we don’t deny responsible adults the choice to have a drink or a smoke? Why should those same responsible adults not be allowed the choice to patronize a consenting adult prostitute or vaporize some marijuana in the privacy of their own home? Again, why the double standard? It just seems hypocritical to me that some conservatives whine about “big brother, big gov’t” on some issues while support the same overreaching big gov’t on others. For the life of me I can understand it.

  13. Bret4207 says:

    It is hypocritical. So is saying capital punishment is wrong but abortion is right. So is the concept of a hate crime. Lots of things are hypocritical in law. Giving a criminal more rights and protections than his victim is hypocritical. And? The same argument is used in lots of cases- why should I be barred from owning certain weapons and yet criminals by their very nature are unaffected by the same law? Got me. ‘Cuz that’s life man. And in truth, we tax the heck out of those that want to have that drink or smoke. That’s not right either. That’s life.

    Some conservatives (and liberals) don’t spend a whole lot of time considering the unintended consequences of their proposals. Ron Paul, “Bring all our troops everywhere home now, just do it.” And who steps into that vacuum Ron? Others say we need to return to the gold standard overnight. Massive de or inflation would follow depending on who you believe. I’ve got no excuse for everyone else man. It’s all I can do to try not to step on my own tongue.

  14. verplanck says:


    For a conservative, you have your foundations distorted. Laws aren’t about “prove that it isn’t harmful and we’ll let it be legal”, they’re about “prove that it’s harmful and we’ll make it illegal”.

  15. Bret4207 says:

    Yup, you’re right in this particular case. I plea bias. You go through what I have and you might feel the same way. Besides, in this case we already know all the items included ARE harmful. It’s defining who is harmed that allows the splitting of hairs.

  16. Something I’ve never understood is how it is immoral to have sex for money but not to hire oneself out to design weapons systems to kill people en-mass. It is wrong to use your body to give pleasure to a stranger but not to participate in the slaughter of untold numbers of people whom are somehow associated with organizations or governments we consider to be our enemy. I’m sure Bret has a rational explanation for that.

  17. Bret4207 says:

    James why is killing and unborn baby right but capital punishment wrong? Why is supporting gov’ts that are morally repugnant to our view fine and dandy when your party is in office, but wring when it’s the other guys? Why is an unsustainable paradigm okay until it affects you?

    As to your question, because it’s demeaning to both parties involved. But that’s just my opinion. Go read the “Is Christianity Moral” thread if you want to try and figure that out.

  18. Bret, hit the nail on the head when you said “that’s just my opinion”. The problems arise when we try to require others, who don’t share our opinion, to live their lives as if they did. I don’t believe that the roll of government is to enforce opinion for the sake of opinion. The role of government is to create a structure for social order that allows for a maximum of freedom while setting limits that insure the common good. A difficult balance to achieve.

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