Ontario Disempowers Prostituted Persons: Assessing Evidence, Arguments, & Substantive Equality in Bedford v. Canada

Max Waltman’s paper analyzes the Court of Appeal for Ontario’s ruling on March 26, 2012, concluding that it erroneously rewrote the law against “living on the avails of prostitution” on the basis of misrepresented and faulty evidence, and as a result made prostituted persons more vulnerable to exploitation. Accordingly, the paper shows how that the decision contravenes the equality guarantees under the Canadian Charter and is inconsistent with previous Supreme Court case law on prostitution. Furthermore, the paper suggests a different decision based on the notion of equality under the Charter’s case law, which would effectively endorse the Swedish prostitution law in Canada that criminalizes purchasers and pimps and decriminalizes prostituted persons.

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