To return to the topic of the Nordic Model:
Bill C 36 is the Canadian iteration of the Nordic Model
s.1. can override s.7. http://www.pch.gc.ca/eng/1391112250275
The rights and freedoms in the Charter are not absolute. They can be limited in order to protect other rights or important national values. For example, freedom of expression may be limited by laws against hate propaganda or pornography.
The Supreme Court of Canada has stated that a limit on Charter rights is acceptable if:
- the limit deals with a pressing and substantial social problem, and
- the government's response to the problem is reasonable and demonstrably justified.
Term used in preamble:
Human Dignity Legal Definition:
An individual or group's sense of self-respect and self-worth, physical and psychological integrity and empowerment.
The description of human dignity sounds like it would fall within "national values" possibly social harm and almost certainly equality legislation. This is so if part of the legislation fails the s.7 test it may pass the s.1.
Bill C 36 premable:
Whereas the Parliament of Canada has grave concerns about the exploitation that is inherent in prostitution and the risks of violence posed to those who engage in it;
The above frames prostitutes as victims of exploitation that are at risk of violence. I believe that will help withstand an s.7. challenge.
Whereas the Parliament of Canada recognizes the social harm caused by the objectification of the human body and the commodification of sexual activity;
Social harm is a valid cause under s.1.
Whereas it is important to protect human dignity and the equality of all Canadians by discouraging prostitution, which has a disproportionate impact on women and children;
Defending the human dignity and equality of women and children touches on s.15 and s.28 and s.1
The first three establish why prostitution should be illegal. The rest establish what is needed to stop it.
Whereas it is important to denounce and prohibit the purchase of sexual services because it creates a demand for prostitution;
Whereas it is important to continue to denounce and prohibit the procurement of persons for the purpose of prostitution and the development of economic interests in the exploitation of the prostitution of others as well as the commercialization and institutionalization of prostitution;
Allowing prostitution to develop as a business would entrench this harmful and unequal industry putting women at risk and undermining their equality.
Whereas the Parliament of Canada wishes to encourage those who engage in prostitution to report incidents of violence and to leave prostitution;
This is how the government wants to protect prostitutes. S.7 argument.
And whereas the Parliament of Canada is committed to protecting communities from the harms associated with prostitution;
This might be here to protect the no soliciting around minors part.
There can be no doubt that the legislative goal of C-36 is to prevent prostitution not just the nuisance aspects of it.
They want to prevent it because it is inherently harmful and dangerous, threatens children, and undermines the equality of women. They want to prevent its development as an industry because that will multiply the harms.
These are very different legislative goals than preventing public nuisance. The government setting the battle to be one of conflicting Charter rights in which the interests of the many take precedence over the interests of the few.