Perverse Morality?

Valerie Scott, one of the women mentioned in the linked CBC news story about sex trade workers challenging Criminal Code provisions related to keeping a common bawdy house and living off the avails of prostitution that imperil their safety has family roots in Regina. When she was home for a visit last summer, I interviewed her for a story that ran in prairie dog. As with the debate over marijuana, where prohibitionists condemn the violence and illicit profits that the drug trade engenders, the bottom-line is that the reason those problems occur in the first place is because weed and other soft recreational drugs are illegal.

When I spoke with Scott she made a compelling case that, regardless of one's personal feelings about prostitution and the overall commercialization of sex, the current situation is untenable as all it does is put women (and men) who work in the trade at the mercy of psychopaths like Robert Pickton and John Crawford.

Scott is executive director of the Sex Professionals of Canada (SPOC). When I spoke with her last June, the legal action was in the works, and she fully expected the fight would land them eventually in the Supreme Court of Canada. Here's hoping she and her colleagues win their fight.

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