Over the past few blog posts, (part 1, part 2, part 3) I have outlined some of my opinions on bill C-36. In this final post on the matter (for now) I would like to look at the issue from a new angle: let us look forward.
What does it mean for Canada now that bill C-36 has passed? What should we as a nation be looking for?
It takes time for the true effects of a piece of legislation to show. But what we can do is observe, and report what we see, closely. When you experience something or see something that is happening related to bill C-36, talk about it. Communication is one of the best indicators we have for getting feedback on legislation – on both its weaknesses and strengths.
What we learnt from the Bedford decision was that the safety of sex workers in Canada needed to be protected. Whether or not bill C-36 will be successful in this is debatable. You have heard the debates. You have read my thoughts. Now we must see whether the route our government has put forward will work. Please use the power of your own individual voice and share your feedback on this bill.
We should also, at all levels, do what we can to provide the necessary support to those members of our society that will be helping secure the safety of sex workers. I urge the government to invest more into supporting initiatives that help sex workers that want to exit the industry do so safely and effectively. I also urge these groups to highlight the importance of the relationship between sex workers and law enforcement officials – this is arguably the most important relationship in determining the potential success of this bill. The trust between these two parties needs to be strong in order to make sure we do not have violent offenders abusing those individuals that choose to remain sex workers in Canada.
As we move forward, I hope you will keep these things in mind. Please let me know how I can work with you via twitter at @SenJaffer, using the hashtag #C36. I want to make sure that the safety of sex workers is protected. As always, I look forward to your feedback.