MP explains new sex trade laws to Council

MP David Wilks stopped by city council on Monday, August 19, to give an update on his dealings in Ottawa

MP David Wilks stopped by city council on Monday, August 19, to give an update on his dealings in Ottawa. Wilks sat on the Prostitution Bill (Canada vs. Bedford) for two weeks in July. Parts of the bill were struck down by the Supreme Court back in December of 2013, so it had to be reworked by parliament.

“We heard from 60 witnesses and the reason this came forward was the Supreme Court, back on December 21, 2013, gave the Parliament of Canada one year to bring forth a new law with regards to prostitution in Canada,” Wilks said.

“If we failed to do that on December 20, 2014 then prostitution in Canada would become legal.”

It’s a relatively daunting issue that is quite decisive among all Canadians.”

Wilks said he believes they came up with “a balanced new law that will provide surety for all Canadians that we are taking this topic quite seriously.”

Once the bill makes it through parliament, through the senate and becomes law, it will be completely illegal to purchase sex in Canada in any form.

It will also be illegal to advertise, unless you are in the business as a sex trade worker, he said.

Wilks said only about 10 per cent of sex workers are in the business voluntarily, the  other 90 per cent are either human trafficked and/or coerced into it through other means.

“We believe that we found a balance and we’ll move forward with that,” Wilks said.

Coun. Gerry Warner noted it didn’t make much sense that buying sex and advertising sex was illegal, while selling it was not.

“It apparently made sense to the Supreme Court of Canada,” Wilks said. “They make the ultimate decision.”

The Supreme Court told Parliament they could do what they liked as long as it felt that they were not going against the Charter or Rights and Freedoms.

“It will be one of those interesting dilemmas that municipal councils will have to grapple with, because ultimately, you are the zoner of zoning,” Wilks noted. “There may be an opportunity that comes knocking to you in Cranbrook where someone may wish to ply their trade and you would have to determine what type of zoning you would want that in. There could also be a business that could come from that as well.”

Wilks said it was difficult to come up with the various parts of the bill while still satisfying the Charter.

Warner noted that escort ads appear in the newspaper.

“They talk about ‘curvy’ ladies of a certain age that are available for escorting, massages and you don’t need a lot imagination to think what else,” he said. “Will this new balance have any effect on those kinds of services?”

Wilks said all of those forms of business will become illegal and won’t be able to advertise under the new bill.

Just Posted

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Over 5K jabbed at Interior Health mobile COVID-19 vaccine clinics

The clinics have made stops in more than 40 communities since launching last week

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Interior Health COVID-19 cases falling slower than the rest of B.C.

More than a third of provincial cases announced Thursday came from the Interior

Students at Creston Valley Secondary School put together an art installation of a replica residential school room. (Photo by Kelsey Yates)
Creston students create art installation of residential school room

The replica was decorated with a small bed, school uniform, and notes written with pleas for help

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Second dose vaccinations accelerating throughout region: Interior Health

To date, more than 675,000 doses have been administered throughout the region

It happened this week in 1914

June 13 - 19: Compiled by Dave Humphrey from the archived newspapers… Continue reading

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

New research suggests wolves can be steered away from the endangered caribou herds they prey on by making the man-made trails they use to hunt harder to move along. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Culling cutlines, not B.C. wolves, key to preserving caribou herds: researcher

The government has turned to killing hundreds of wolves in an effort to keep caribou around

Gary Abbott (left) and Louis De Jaeger were two of the organizers for the 2014 Spirit of the People Powwow in Chilliwack. Monday, June 21, 2021 is Indigenous Peoples Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of June 20 to 26

Indigenous Peoples Day, Take Your Dog to Work Day, Onion Rings Day all coming up this week

Gwen Spencer Hethey with her uncle and mentor Major Frederick Richardson. (Courtesy of Greater Victoria Sports Hall of Fame)
‘She was a killer’: The B.C. woman who pioneered female sharpshooting

Gwen Spencer Hethey made military men ‘look like turkeys’ says her son

Central Okanagan Grade 12 grads are set to get $500 each after a more than $1 million donation from a Kelowna couple. (File photo)
B.C. couple donating $500 to every Grade 12 student in the Okanagan

Anonymous donors identified as Kelowna entrepreneurs Lance and Tammy Torgerson

Rita Coolidge played the main stage at Vancouver Island Musicfest in 2017. (Black Press file photo)
This year’s Vancouver Island MusicFest to virtually showcase beauty of Comox Valley

Returning July 9 through 11 with more than 25 hours of music performances

British Columbia’s premier says he’s received a second dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. (Twitter/John Horgan)
B.C. premier gets 2nd dose of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine

John Horgan shared a photo of himself on social media Friday afternoon holding a completed vaccination card

A lotto Max ticket is shown in Toronto on Monday Feb. 26, 2018.THE CANADIAN PRESS
No winning ticket sold for Friday’s $70 million Lotto Max jackpot

The huge jackpot has remained unclaimed for several weeks now

Most Read