In 2013, the Canada v Bedford case saw the Criminal Code provisions regulating sex work in Canada struck down as unconstitutional. The new legislation introduced by the federal government to regulate this area, titled the Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act, came into force the following year. Pivot Legal Society, a Vancouver-based anti-poverty group, recently released a report on the impact of the new laws, titled Evaluating Canada’s Sex Work Laws: The Case for Repeal.
Brenda Belak is a lawyer at Pivot and a co-author of the report. Kerry Porth is a former sex worker, former executive director of the sex worker advocacy group PACE Society, and current chair of Pivot’s board of directors. They joined us in the studio to tell us about the work that went into the report, share their experiences, and why they think the current laws are doing more to hurt than help sex workers.