Expungement of Historically Unjust Convictions
Public Safety Canada: The Government of Canada passed the Order Amending the Schedule to the Expungement of Historically Unjust Convictions Act on February 17, 2023, which addresses historical discrimination by making convictions under Criminal Code bawdy-house laws eligible for expungement. However, prostitution-related convictions under Canada's Criminal Code bawdy-house sections repealed in 2014 are still not eligible to be expunged. Triple-X wrote this letter to Public Safety Minister concerning this issue: "Re: Order Amending the Schedule to the Expungement of Historically Unjust Convictions Act," Honourable Marco Mendicino, Minister for Public Safety, March 13, 2023
Sex, Scandal and Scapegoats: Canada's Blood Donation Ban for Selling Sexual Services
UPDATE: In October 2022 Canadian Blood Services, with approval from Health Canada, reduced the lifetime ban from giving blood for selling sex to a one-year deferral. Triple-X president, Andy Sorfleet unpacks the continuing discrimination and stigma of this blood donation policy on the CATIE Blog: "Sex, Scandal and scapegoats: Canada's blood donation policy for sex workers."
"Government policies designed to protect the public's health should be based on scientific evidence, not prejudice. All questions regarding sexual services transactions as a basis for eligibility for donating blood must be removed to end this stigma."
Triple-X submitted a brief to officials at Health Canada that calls for the removal of all questions regarding sexual services transactions. "Sexual activity, not commercial activity, contributes to increased risk of sexually transmitted blood-borne infection (STBBI). Questions need to focus on sexual acts only." Triple-X also asks that Health Canada and Public Health Agency of Canada endorse and advocate for the decriminalization of the purchase of sexual services (Criminal Code Section 286.1). "Occupational health and safety, and sex workers' role in the safe sex education of their clients, are important avenues to promote STBBI prevention."
To read more about it and download our brief, see: "Planning To Donate Blood?"
Canada's Justice Committee Review of Canada's Sexual Services Laws
Triple-X Press Release: Letter to Justice Minister Re: Government Response to Justice Committee Review of PCEPA, November 28, 2022
UPDATE: On October 20, 2022, Justice Minister, Hon. David Lametti issued the Government Response to the Fourth Report of the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights Preventing Harm in the Canadian Sex Industry: A Review of the Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act.
The Government of Canada's Response mostly dismissed the recommendations in the Fourth Report of the Justice Committee. Instead, Justice Canada will continue "to monitor the impacts of the PCEPA" (provisions which "reflect a Nordic Model approach to the sex trade") as well as "international developments, including research concerning the impact of different legislative regimes governing the sex trade in other countries."
Triple-X has sent a letter (dated November 25) to the Justice Minister, asking Justice Canada to provide clarification regarding the impact of Criminal Code Section 286 on the Charter right of sexual services providers to form unions and professional associations.
We received a reply to our correspondence from The Honourable David Lametti, dated May 2, 2023. "As Minister of justice and Attorney General of Canada, I am not able to provide legal advice to members of the public.
Our goverment is very concerned about the safety of all persons engaged in the sex trade, and we are committed to taking into account the interests of all impacted groups."
The Parliamentary Committee on Justice and Human Rights tabled their report: "Preventing Harm in the Canadian Sex Industry: A Review of the Protection of Communities and Exploited Act," in June 2022 that recommended parliament repeal two laws: Criminal Code s.213 [Communicating to Provide Sexual Services] and s.286.4 [Advertising Sexual Services].
Read more about how the Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act violates sex workers' Freedom to Associate, including links to Canada's Sexual Services laws and related court rulings: triple-x.org/freedomtoassociate.
10th Annual RED UMBRELLA MARCH For Sex Work Solidarity
Saturday, June 11, 2022, marked the 10th annual Vancouver Red Umbrella March for Sex Work Solidarity. This year, the Red Umbrella March was more important than ever, because the Parliamentary Committee on Justice and Human Rights is set to release its report on Canada's new laws that prohibit the purchase of sexual services (Criminal Code s. 286) before June 23. For more information: triple-x.org/freedomtoassociate
The annual Red Umbrella March is held in Vancouver every second Saturday in June to commemorate the first Red Umbrellas March in Venice, June 8, 2001. Just as the Venice Red Umbrellas March was determined to disrupt the public sphere and draw attention to the historical and geographical social history of sex workers, Vancouver's Red Umbrella March for Sex Work Solidarity strives to draw lines through time and space that show that sex workers are loved and revered in our communities, regardless of perceived stigma and prejudice.
As president of Triple-X, I would like to extend our deep thanks and gratitude to our co-sponsors who really pitched this year to create such a successful milestone event: Pivot Legal Society, PACE Society, SWAN Vancouver Society, B.C. Coalition of Experiential Communities (BCCEC) and the B.C. Bad Dates and Aggressors Reporting Project (BCBDAR).
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Sex Workers, Allies, Family and Friends Mark 10 Years Fighting Unjust Laws: Vancouver's 10th Annual Red Umbrella March for Sex Work Solidarity, June 7, 2022
RUM 2021 Virtual Hookers' Rights Hero
Red Umbrella March for Sex Work Solidarity celebrated its 9th year with a virtual slideshow video commemorating the life of Margo St. James: Hookers' Rights Avant-Garde. (Run-time: 31 minutes)