Security Domestic Security

Repeal Bill C-36 (Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act).

Sep 2018

Governments have failed Canada’s sex workers—and they’re running out of patience

Maclean's September 06, 2018

The Conservatives’ Bill C-36 made it harder for sex workers to do their job safely—and despite their promises, the Liberals haven’t fixed the problem, either.

That legislation, Bill C-36, came into effect in 2014 under Stephen Harper’s Conservative government, and it was opposed by all opposition parties at the time, including Justin Trudeau’s Liberals, who contended that the legislation was unconstitutional and failed to comply with that Supreme Court ruling. During the 2015 federal election campaign, Trudeau vowed to undo or fix various criminal justice reforms brought in by his predecessor, painting the Tories’ tough-on-crime agenda as heartless and damaging. And when they won, they affirmed that work would be under way on these issues.

But now—three years after the Liberals won a majority government, four years after C-36 came into force, five years after the Supreme Court ruled that Canada’s long-standing prostitution laws were unconstitutional, and six years after shifts in policing strategy started producing meaningful change in Vancouver—any plans for reform appear to have stalled, despite government consultations about a year ago. And now, with just a year left before the next election, there is scant time left to introduce new legislation.

Although this promise originally had no timeline, no bill has yet been tabled to revert the changes introduced by the Conservative government’s Bill C-36 (it’s important to note Bill C-36 received royal assent in 2014, which makes it a law; only another law can now revert it). This promise status will be updated accordingly if/when a new bill is tabled that aims to re-amend the Criminal Code to remove elements introduced by Bill C-36 in 2014.

Apr 2018

Decriminalization of Consensual Sex Work and Sex Trade

2018 Liberal National Convention April 21, 2018

Moved by Young Liberals of Canada BE IT RESOLVED​ the Liberal Party of Canada repeal the 2014 Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act, begin a consultation period with those in the sex work industry and advocacy groups, and move to decriminalize consensual sex work, and the purchase of said sex work, for those over the age of 18;

BE IT RESOLVED the Liberal Party of Canada consult not just with those involved in the sex work, but with surrounding communities to ensure that these changes ensure the safety and wellbeing of these surrounding communities and their families;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that along with decriminalization the Liberal Party of Canada should look to address the true problems facing sex workers by working to increase their access to sexual health clinics, counseling and improve their relationship with local authorities.

This motion was moved by Young Liberals of Canada at the 2018 Liberal National Convention in Halifax. It does not constitute an official legislative evolution of this issue, as nothing has happened in Parliament yet. This promise will be updated accordingly when/if a bill is tabled in Parliament to alter or repeal the existing law.