Did you know that legalized prostitution may soon be the norm in Canada? In 2007 two cases began working their way through the court system, one in British Columbia and the other in Ontario. Both cases seek to have the laws limiting prostitution overturned. To be sure no one knows how the judges will rule in these cases. But activist judges in Canada have certainly played a major role in reshaping societal mores in the past.

Justice Ted Matlow, who is presiding in the Ontario case, has recently created some controversy by disallowing two conservative Christian groups from participating in the proceedings. The Christian Legal Fellowship and the Catholic Civil Rights League argued that prostitution is damaging to society, and that there are good reasons why communities might want to restrict it. But Justice Matlow quashed their application to take part because, in his words, the Christian groups hold views that, “reflect the views of only small segments of Canadian society.”
Whoa, hold it right there. I know that Canada holds liberal views on many subjects. But I find it impossible to believe that only Christians would champion the view that prostitution is inherently harmful and degrading. Are we to believe that secular humanists, plain atheists, and agnostics have no moral code? Are people like Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens lining up with their daughters hoping to get them into one of the better brothels? It’s far more likely that Matlow himself holds elitist views that would not resonate with the average Canadian. Even with the moral bankruptcy of our times, I do not believe that the majority of my fellow citizens are going to applaud a decision to yank the prostitution laws in Canada.

In fact, I’m hoping against hope that Canadians will stand up and shout, “NO-WAY” to legalized prostitution. Let no one be confused about this. When prostitution is fully legalized and the sex trade industry has the entire stigma washed away from it, there is no telling how far the ripples of damage will spread. Will our high schools begin to feature courses like “Soliciting 101” or “How to run your own Bawdy House?” or “Pimping made Profitable”? Will unemployed women under a certain age be forced into job interviews with brothel owners if they want to keep receiving employment insurance? (Before you laugh an incident like this actually happened in Germany in 2005)

So why am I so exercised about this issue? It’s simple: I care about people, all people, prostitutes included. And I hate and abhor the practice of prostitution because of the hellish harm that it inflicts on women. The violence, the virtual slavery by brutal pimps, the rampant drug addiction, the actual danger of being murdered by some deranged john, the wide spread sex trafficking that occurs—I could go on and on.

Advocates claim that these are the very reasons why we need to legalize and regulate the practice. But they are wrong.

Countries like Holland that have had legalized prostitution for years are finally scaling back and passing new laws to discourage and limit the practice. They discovered that legalization didn’t guarantee safety; they learned that it only caused more unregulated street prostitution; they saw how organized crime came into the scene; and they saw that the foreign trafficking of women was all part of the scene. In short the people in Canada who are calling for legalization because of supposed harm reduction are dead wrong. They need to do their homework. Here’s hoping Canada will look at the negative, harmful experiences of other countries that opted for legalization and now wish they hadn’t.

I am hoping and praying that Canadians will be shocked and appalled so that there will be an outcry against the whole idea of treating women as meat to be bought and sold. But I’m afraid that we may now be at the stage where we are so morally challenged that we won’t give it a second thought. Please prove me wrong—let your voice be heard!
Just remember that if prostitution is legalized the brothels will have to be staffed. I can guarantee that those girls will be somebody’s daughters. Whose daughters? I assure you that they will be the trafficked and helpless daughters of some poor peasant in a far off country, or they will be our own daughters. I hope that either prospect makes you thoroughly sick to your stomach.

Published in the Guelph Mercury, August 14, 2009


  1. idelette says:

    Thank you for your great commentary! We have been working in BC to raise up a voice against legalization. It is a long journey. Thank you for raising your voice.