In an op-ed piece in the Vernon Morning Star, Conservative MP Colin Mayes writes that “Many think that if government would only regulate the profession, prostitutes will be healthy and safe and the cost to the government for monitoring this business would be to tax it”. But he disagrees, writing, “I believe seldom is prostitution a career choice for women. Therefore, it is important that assistance to broader career choices be part of the overall legislative initiative”.
Mayes urges his fellow parliamentarians to consider the options presented in a report by MLI senior fellow Benjamin Perrin when assessing how to rewrite Canada’s prostitution laws, which have been struck down by the Supreme Court. Mayes notes that Perrin, in the paper titled “Oldest Profession or Oldest Oppression?” has found in other jurisdictions that “Despite decriminalization, prostitutes continue to suffer incidents of violence, threats, forcible confinement, theft and refusal to pay for services”. Perrin urges Parliament to adopt the Swedish or Nordic model for prostitution laws which targets pimps and johns, and provides assistance for prostitutes to exit prostitution.