Statement by the Minister of Justice Regarding the Supreme Court of Canada Ruling in Attorney General of Canada V. Bedford et al.

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Ottawa, December 20, 2013 – Today, the Honourable Peter MacKay, P.C., Q.C., M.P. for Central Nova, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, issued the following statement:

"I am concerned that, with its ruling in the case of Attorney General of Canada v. Bedford et al., the Supreme Court of Canada has found sections 210, 212(1)(j) and 213(1)(c) of the Criminal Code related to prostitution unconstitutional. The court has ordered, however, that these provisions remain in force for 12 months to give Parliament time to consider how to address this very complex matter. 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. We are committed to the safety of all Canadians and the well-being of our communities. A number of other Criminal Code provisions remain in place to protect those engaged in prostitution and other vulnerable persons, and to address the negative effects prostitution has on communities.”

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