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AN OPEN LETTER TO PRIME MINISTER HARPER FROM DOMINATRIX TERRI-JEAN BEDFORD

AN OPEN LETTER TO PRIME MINISTER HARPERFROM DOMINATRIX TERRI-JEAN BEDFORD

Your behaviour requires modification.

You told the media you have never heard of me even after you have devoted vast resources to appealing a 131 page court decision reached in my favour. If you are being honest it means you are not up to date on current events. For even claiming not to know of me, you should be punished.

You refused to answer the media as to whether you have read the decision. For being evasive, you should be punished.

If you have not read the decision, you should be punished.

If you have read the decision and believe what you say about the existing laws being good for the country, then you do not care about violence against women. For turning your back on abused women when you can do otherwise, you should be punished.

On the other hand if you have read the decision and realize the current laws are not good for the country, yet insist on appealing the decision to keep the laws intact, it means you are afraid to bring new laws in. For being afraid, you should be punished.

Your punishment is to read my statement about your decision to appeal the judge’s decision. I issued it a few days after you appealed. Here it is.

It has been just over a week since the Canadian judicial decision striking down our laws restricting prostitution, a legal occupation. I am one of the three plaintiffs. The proceedings lasted almost 3 years, with thousands of pages of evidence, many weeks of closed testimony from dozens of experts and 9 days of public argument. The 131 page decision took the judge almost a year to prepare. But the federal government announced an appeal within hours of its release.

Politics, not prostitution, is the world’s oldest profession. It was in all probability the Prime Minister, without even having the time to read the decision, who decided to appeal it. His justice minister is a transient name and face between cabinet shuffles. His party never draws a breath unless he signs off first. It must have been the Prime Minister’s decision.

The appeal process may take years. If the government wins each appeal, prostitution will remain legal yet the law will criminalize those who are involved. The Prime Minister will have preserved a status quo that nobody understands, few obey, that is rewarding organized crime, that responds to stiffer penalties with more recruits and that puts the vulnerable at risk. All this while he has a comprehensive constitutional judicial ruling as proof that the laws need to change. I am not even talking about which direction that change should take. I am simply talking about Parliament finally getting around to making decisions.

The people want Parliament to act. If the status quo remains intact, Canada will become a laughing stock. The polls on this that I have read or heard reports about generally indicate that 75% of the people asked approved of the judge’s decision. The rest are split between not approving and having no position. Almost everyone dislikes the status quo, whatever their views on prostitution. Some charges have already been dropped.

I have also read and listened very carefully to the views of those who were opposed to the judge’s action in striking down the laws. To me it seemed that few of those people have read the decision. And if they did read it they failed to tell their readers or listeners that every objection to striking the laws that we have heard these last days received a detailed analysis in the decision. The judge explained why the current laws are wrong – no matter what your values or your views on prostitution.

The judge relied on proof. The government legal team, despite their vast budget, did not have the evidence that the laws were constitutional. Professor Young and his team of students and experts had the evidence that the laws were unconstitutional. I think that we all understand that the word unconstitutional is a code-word for wrong.

Those who think that a judge should not have been the one to decide the issue of whether the laws are constitutional should remember that the Prime Minister has just enlisted more judges via appeal. He had the alternative of not doing so and instead taking his position before Parliament and the people. I am not as concerned about what the specifics of his position may turn out to be, as I am about his willingness to keep things the way they are – even as an interim measure. That is bad government.

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About Douglas Fox

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This entry was posted on 4 December, 2010 by in Campaigns and Groups, Government Reviews and Change.
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