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MacKay insists new prostitution bill will protect sex workers – National

OTTAWA – Canada’s justice minister is insisting that once passed, the Conservative government’s new prostitution bill will mean safer conditions for sex workers.

Peter MacKay testified this morning before a Senate committee studying Bill C-36, the government’s response to last year’s Supreme Court decision striking down the existing prostitution law.

Opponents of the new bill say it doesn’t address the high court’s assertion that the old law violated the rights of sex workers by exposing them to undue risk.

READ MORE: Canada prostitution bill likely unconstitutional: Swedish expert

They say prostitutes will be placed at greater risk under the new law, since prospective clients will face arrest, making transactions more fraught with danger.

But MacKay says the bill gives sex workers the ability to create better working conditions and immunity from prosecution if they seek help from police.

Still, he says he expects the courts will scrutinize the new legislation closely and examine individual cases as they arise.

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  • Planned prostitution law aims at ‘protecting vulnerable,’ MacKay says

  • Tory government received 30,000 responses to prostitution law consultations

©2014The Canadian Press

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