My name is Émilie Laliberté, and I am a sex worker. I am here as the francophone spokesperson for the Canadian Alliance for Sex Work Law Reform.
Sex workers have not really been made the focus of these reforms, even though they will result in legislation that will have a direct impact on our working conditions and lives. Only three sex workers were at the table when Minister MacKay held private consultations on March 3. The minister made it very clear that he did not intend to consult with Canada's sex workers.
The content and terminology of Bill C-36, as well as the minister's statements on the matter, clearly show that the government is pursuing a moral objective above all else, by criminalizing a practice it deems shameful and exploitative, even when the adults who engage in the activity are consenting. Instead of using the extensive body of clear evidence demonstrating the detrimental impact of criminalizing prostitution, both here and around the world, as the basis for Bill C-36, lawmakers have opted for reforms that are ideologically based. They are also premised on the view that we are victims and should be treated like children. Lawmakers have failed to recognize our independence in making intrinsically personal decisions and our ability to consent.
This moralistic view has produced a bill—