Prostitution in Canada is legal as there are no laws prohibiting the exchange of sex for money or other consideration. On the 20th December 2013, the Supreme Court of Canada found the laws prohibiting brothels, public communication for the purpose of prostitution, and living on the profits of prostitution to be unconstitutional. The ruling gave the Canadian parliament 12 months to rewrite the prostitution laws with a stay of effect so that the current laws remain in force. Amending legislation was introduced in June 2014. (source)
The Canadian government introduced Bill C-36, a piece of legislation that, if passed, would make it illegal to buy sex in Canada.
Under the proposed bill, buying sex would be a criminal offense, as would the selling of sex in public areas where minors could “reasonably be expected to be present.” The advertising of sexual services, either online or in print, would be punishable by up to five years in prison. The bill also provides $20 million in government funding for “exit” services for sex workers who wish to leave the profession.
Passage of the bill, says Justice Minister Peter MacKay, would mark the first time that buying sex has been criminalized in Canada, where the commercial exchange of sex between consenting adults is currently legal. It’s being touted by MacKay and other Conservatives as Canada’s answer to the “Nordic model,” a term used to describe the prostitution laws in Scandinavian countries that target johns rather than sex workers themselves. (Source)
According to the government bill tracking site the status of Bill C-36 is "In committee (House), as of June 19, 2014."
The reasoning behind this, says MacKay, is to curb prostitution by targeting the pimps and “perverts” who buy or directly profit from the selling of sex. He sees the bill is an attempt to “protect” sex workers, the majority of which, he says, are not selling sex of their own volition.
"The bill recognizes that the vast majority of those who sell sexual services do not do so by choice. We view the vast majority of those involved in selling sexual services as victims," MacKay said in a press conference after the bill was introduced.
Needless to say, sex workers and their advocates are not happy with C-36, nor are they pleased with the Canadian government’s suggestion that women who sell sex are “victims.” Over the past 24 hours, many have taken to Twitter to protest against the bill’s vague and abstruse language, which they argue further endangers the sex workers the bill ostensibly aims to protect. (source)