Bedford v. Canada

A letter to the editor I sent today on an issue that bugs me. I’ve ranted about this before here, but I’ve tried to keep my own opinion out of this letter, since the entire point is that sex workers themselves can express all this for themselves just fine.

Dear Anna-Maria Tremonti,

I have been a loyal listener of yours for years now, and I’ve always appreciated the insight and objectivity you’ve brought to complicated and controversial issues. I sincerely believe that Canadian journalism is lucky to have you doing what you do, and I look forward to your program every day.

It’s because of this respect that I’m writing regarding a story I anticipate you will cover soon: the June 13th Supreme Court case of Bedford v. Canada concerning the Criminal Code’s provisions on sex work. Past interviews I’ve heard of yours on this topic have been an exception to your usual practice of finding informed spokespeople who represent a diversity of opinions on a topic. Like the Supreme Court itself, not to mention a large majority of Canada’s mass media whose coverage I’ve read on this issue, you’ve heard from self-proclaimed advocates of sex workers but not the sex workers themselves.

For these reasons I challenge you to contact one of the many sex workers’ advocacy groups in Canada which are run by and for sex workers themselves, and invite them onto your program to explain this industry to Canadians from their own perspective. Good places to start include Stella in Montreal, Maggie’s in Toronto, or the Sex Professionals of Canada . Stella’s annual publication Constellation focuses this year on sex work and human rights, and is an excellent guide to this issue from the perspective of sex workers around the world. Saturday June 8th will be a National Day of Action in support of sex workers when they and their allies will rally across the country for recognition and decriminalization. However Canada’s laws may be changed, sex workers will continue to exist for as long as there’s a demand for their services. Canadians don’t often get a chance to hear from them, but as an eloquent guest of yours recently said on your program, people are only without a voice to the extent that others choose not to hear them.

Sincerely, Matt C Montreal, QC