As the fight continues to stop Bill C-36 from causing greater harm to sex workers across the country, we are honoured to have received some wonderful letters of support from organizations in our community. These letters have gone to the Canadian Senate as evidence that PEERS most definitely doesn’t stand alone in our opposition to Bill C36. The Senate committee hearings begin tomorrow in Ottawa. Thank you to the Victoria Sexual Assault Centre, AIDS Vancouver Island and the Centre for Aboriginal Health Research at the University of Victoria. Please read the letters at the links here.
PEERS’ submission to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee provides an overview of the organization and summarizes the concerns with Bill C-36 that were presented at the Justice Committee Hearing on July 10, 2014.
To read the full submission PDF click below:
“This joint submission reflects the City of Vancouver and Vancouver Coastal Health’s response to Bill C-36 The Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act t… It is our shared view that the legislation does not adequately respond to the Bedford, which prioritized the health and safety of adult sex workers.”
PEERS has been called as a witness to the Bill C36 Justice Committee Hearings!
Our new Executive Director Rachel Phillips, and PEERS board member Natasha Potvin, will present on July 10, 2014 in Ottawa. Our submission was based on a collaboration of people representing different sectors of the industry and a focus group with program participants held in Aprilâ€”thank you to everyone for making this possible!
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PEERS new Executive Director Rachel Phillips on Bill C-36:
People who are familiar with the sex industry in Canada are profoundly disappointed in the introduction of Bill C-36 this month.
Many persons who work in the sex industry, as well as advocates, community agencies and sex-work researchers had hoped for complete decriminalization, which has been successfully in place in New Zealand for a decade. As others have noted, C-36 dismisses the concerns of people in the sex industry, ignores three decades of Canadian research and, in a surprisingly arrogant manner, dismisses the spirit of the 2013 Supreme Court of Canada ruling.
Legal experts are rightly predicting that the bill will result in further costly constitutional challenges and uneven enforcement if it becomes law. Enforcement will be disproportionately felt by the most marginalized people in the industry â€” a lesson already learned from previous attempts to address adult prostitution through criminalization.
What an immense waste of resources in the face of an opportunity to add to Canadaâ€™s reputation as a country that values human rights.
With the bill comes the promise of $20 million in federal funds for â€œexiting programs.â€ Like many other sex worker-serving agencies across Canada, PEERS struggles to maintain funding. So why doesnâ€™t the $20 million announcement feel like good news?
Letter to the Editor, Victoria Times-Colonist
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