I guess we all knew how this was ultimately going to go from the minute that Justice Minister Peter MacKay started making noises about further criminalization of the industry earlier this year. But still, the news is so discouraging. Far from abolishing the industry or saving victims, the new law simply pushes sex workers that much deeper into the shadows, where they will now have to take even more care to avoid police and shield their customers from arrest.
As one might have thought from what we learned after the Pickton multiple-murder case, it's in the shadows where bad things happen, which means that's just about the last place a normal country would force its sex workers to work in. But as this Conservative government has taught us repeatedly, there's nothing normal about what's going on in Canada anymore.
Nonetheless, no point in bemoaning the wrong-headedness of a government known for doing what it wants, and damn the consequences of ignoring science, popular opinion, the real-life experiences of sex workers, informed thinking and sheer humanity. So here's a little Singalong for Sex Workers as an antidote to this grim news.
We recorded the song with a few of my talented musical friends in Victoria on the night before Paul and I left for Nicaragua last month. It was good fun, but we really meant it: Sex workers are first and foremost Canadian workers just like all the rest of us, and in no way will they be "rescued" or their industry abolished by bad law that criminalizes their customers and limits their ability to work together in safer conditions.
Enjoy! Share! And let the next stage of the revolution begin. Peter Mackay, we're coming for you.