Sunday, January 26, 2014

"Doing the wild thing hanging upside down while swinging from a chandelier in the senate drinking champagne and eating caviar at taxpayers expense with Mike Duffy at the ready to catch me should I fall!" ..... silly woman

"Cheers Stephen Harper and all the boys in short pants and girls in short skirts in your office. Oh Jeezus ..... oops damn ..... I missed ..... splat!"
What is a sex act? Toronto dominatrix Terry-Jean Bedford demands answers from Stephen Harper

Bedford wants PM Stephen Harper to spell it out before passing new prostitution laws

By Antonia Zerbisias
Feature Writer
Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Terri-Jean Bedford made history in December by leading a charge on the Supreme Court of Canada to decriminalize prostitution.

So, what is sex or, more specifically, what constitutes a sex act?

Aside from the can’t-print-it-here obvious, that is.

That’s just one of the not so hoary questions Toronto dominatrix Terri-Jean Bedford, who made history last month by leading the constitutional charge on the Supreme Court of Canada to decriminalize prostitution, wants to ask Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

She has a 2,000 word-long list of questions she feels needs answering before the Conservative government proposes any new legislation that will result in making transactional sex, which has always been legal in Canada, illegal.


At the top of her list is the definition of a sex act. Is helping a man who identifies as straight get prettied up in women’s clothes and cosmetics for sexual kicks prostitution? Is tying up consenting adults and spanking them a sex act? What type of restraints may be used? Can restraints be used? How hard may they be used? Does a therapeutic massage performed by a registered massage therapist that ends up with a sexual response count?

“Harper’s government is planning to regulate and enforce what goes on in the privacy of our homes and this concerns me,” she told the Star in a conference call interview yesterday. “Just because one red cent changes hands doesn’t mean that a sex worker is a criminal. They’re consenting adults engaged in private behaviour. It’s not the government’s business. It’s nobody’s business. It’s only their business if somebody is getting hurt.”

“The letter insists on clarity in any potential legislation,” added Nikki Thomas, former Executive Director of Sex Professionals of Canada (SPOC). “You can’t regulate or restrict something unless you can say what it is.

“Any time that issues regarding indecency or obscenity make their way through the court system, there’s always the question of how do you define it. Sometimes terms like ‘community standards’ have been thrown out there. When it comes to pornography, people have claimed ‘Well, you know it when you see it.’ But we don’t think that’s good enough.”

Bedford’s questions, which will be sent to Harper, his cabinet ministers and Conservative MPs, are posted on her blog.

So far, Harper has not commented on the landmark and unanimous Supreme Court decision striking down the three Criminal Code of Canada sections that sex workers claimed endangered their safety and security. These were the laws against communicating in public for the purposes of prostitution, that keeping of a common bawdy house and living off the avails of transactional sex. The Court deemed them unconstitutional because, for example, they prevented sex workers from working together in safe places, or hiring bodyguards.

But the decision did include a provision to give Parliament one year to come up with new legislation that did not infringe on sex workers’ constitutional rights.

While Harper himself has not yet commented on the decision, members of his cabinet and caucus did.

“We are reviewing the decision and are exploring all possible options to ensure the criminal law continues to address the significant harms that flow from prostitution to communities, those engaged in prostitution, and vulnerable persons,” said Justice Minister Peter MacKay in a statement.

“Our objective would be to ensure Canada avoids a situation where vulnerable women are easily exploited and that’s our concern,” added Social Development Minister Jason Kenney.

As for the Prime Minister, he is on record saying, in March 2012 when the government reacted to an Ontario Court of Appeal decision that sided with sex workers, “We view prostitution as bad for society and we view its effects as particularly harmful for our communities and women, and particularly for vulnerable women, and we will continue to oppose prostitution in Canada.”

Last fall at the Conservative convention in Calgary, a resolution to adopt the so-called Nordic Model was passed. That’s the legal regime in Sweden which has made the purchase of sexual services illegal, targeting the “johns” instead of the sex workers.

The motion read, in part, that “human beings are not objects to be enslaved, bought, or sold” and that the party “will develop a Canada-specific plan to target the purchases of sex as well as any third party attempting to profit from the purchase of sex.”

However, much research, including that provided by Swedish crime and health experts, shows that the model is ineffective. Sex workers say it merely drives them underground, where they cannot effectively screen clients because clients refuse to provide personal information for fear of arrest.

“Harper really doesn’t want to discuss the issues,” insists Bedford. “He’ll want to use the Nordic Model as a quick fix to make the whole problem go away. He says prostitution is bad, yet he is not clear on what he means by prostitution.”

Thomas maintains that no new laws are necessary: “We really don’t need any new laws because the worst things connected to prostitution are already covered by Criminal Code sections on child exploitation, trafficking and public nuisance.”


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