Beautiful & Intelligent French Canadian Women
Honest Sexworkers Without the Legal Issues in the United States

Montreal Canada

The Legal Status Of Prostitution In Canada
Too many restrictions but far better than the U.S. !

Canadian Prostitution Favorable Legal Situation

Similar to Europe, Australia and most of the World
Very Different Than In the U.S.
In Canada, honest, full service, safe sex escorting (sexwork) is the accepted norm. Since Canada doesn't have the legal repressive issues as in the U.S. ads are usually honest, prices quoted are real - not the U.S. rip offs and scams. In general prices are far lower than in the U.S. since they don't have to include the large legal risk premium. Also there are more providers, choosing sexwork for the right reasons, since there is not the legal risk.

Everyone should have access to reasonable priced sexual relief of that normal sexual tension or sexual variety that is natural, from professional, caring, honest providers.

In most every country except the U.S. such services are legally available and not any big deal. U.S. laws are controlled by a religious agenda that has no biblical basis, only false traditions of sexual repression that have been incorporated into laws to deny healthy sexual service options. Those that oppose sexwork the most often are the ones participating in it but their guilt makes them lash out against it. They seek to deny everyone the healthy sexual services they are not suppose to enjoy based on their perverted traditions, that are lies with no legitimate basis.

Yes, even in the U.S. there are many great honest providers. But it is sometimes hard to find them among all the scams. Organized crime is also an issue in the U.S., while in Canada, most all of Europe, Australia, New Zealand, most of Asia, Latin America there simply is no "crime" to "organize"!

Canadian Prostitution Law
Prostitution is legal in all of Canada it has been part of the Federal Criminal Code since at least mid 1800s. It is similar to British law and laws in much of Europe. Local communities can establish brothels and have some other limited powers such as licensing and zoning but can not outlaw prostitution which flourishes throughout Canada. Many Canadian cities have required escort licensing. But all it does is raise money at the sexworkers expense, since there is no real advantage of being licensed other than to comply with a city revenue raising requirement since prostitution is legal anyway.



Under the Canadian Criminal Code:

(1) The act of prostitution is legal, i.e. you CANNOT be arrested for being a prostitute

(2) The practice of independent outcall prostitution is fully protected by Federal law. Third party involvement in solicitation of business or profiting from it is a crime But enforcement varies widely since the attitude is to support individual rights as long as it doesn't hurt anyone else.

(3) Advertising in public print is protected as a right of free speech which has been upheld by the Canadian Supreme Court. Advertising on television has not yet been tested but the issue is whether its in line with community standards.

(4) An independent outcall escort has the right to discuss specific acts of sex for money in private. Hotel rooms, telephones and private homes. The Canadian Supreme court has ruled that a land based telephone is a private communication. When one places a phone call, they have a reasonable expectation of privacy, and that is the test. The same is easily extended to cellular phone communication. One would have to have special equipment to intercept such communication.

When you consider the "public communication" aspect of the law it is really crafted to discourage street solicitation. The more aggressive uses of the law have seen it applied to hotel bars, your vehicle operating on a public street and other such places. Communication btw also includes acts in furtherance as evidence of intent...i.e. you pick a street walker up in your car is an act of furtherance.

While prostitution itself is legal how it is practiced is restricted and enforcement differs greatly in different cities. The Criminal Code of Canada restricts:

1. Communicating /Solicitation-  to avoid street prostitution by preventing soliciting or having sex in public.
In 1978, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that soliciting had to be "pressing and persistent" to warrant conviction. In 1985, this was replaced by the communicating law, which continues to outlaw any kind of communication for the purposes of prostitution, making it an easier offence to prosecute. A car was ruled to be a public place if it is parked in any place open to public view. This law forces prostitutes to move into more secluded, poorly lit areas to do their work.

The communicating offence was designed to deal with the nuisance caused by street solicitation. In 1990, the SCC held that while the communicating section is an infringement on the freedom of expression, it is justifiable infringement because of the importance of eliminating street solicitation and the associated social nuisances.

"Public place" is defined as "any place to which the public have access as of right or by invitation..... and any motor vehicle located in a place.... open to public view". Cyberspace is not a "place" any more than a radio or tv is.

Car sex is illegal unless in a very secluded location as one case pointed out. A telephone is private so you can discuss it freely. It is also perfectly legal for a prostitute to advertise in magazines, newspapers and websites, as they are not considered public (you choose to buy it, read it in privately and read what you privately decide to read). For example in Vancouver, there are many ads are in the Westender, Vancouver Sun and Vancouver Providence for providers. In Montreal the Mirror has many explicit ads as do other French publications. Many Canadian providers have websites and there are good discussion/review lists such as All all perfectly legal and without the concern of being a roadmap for vice cops to find legitimate providers, like in the U.S.

In Toronto one street prostitute was arrested for soliciting. The arresting officer had her on tape which was played for the judge. The tape showed the undercover officer asking her what she charged for a straight lay. She replied, If you would like to come to my motel room, I will tell you all the details, but if not, I won't tell you anything because it is illegal to solicit in a public place." The judge looked at the officer and said, "well it sounds to me as though she read the law to you?". The case was immediately tossed out. Source: discussion thread 2722.

Section 213 of the Criminal Code states that communicating (in public) for the purpose of prostitution is a summary conviction offence. Summary offences are considered "less serious", carrying a maximum six-month jail term (seldom imposed), a $2,000 fine, or both. The offender does not receive a formal criminal record, nor are fingerprints or photographs taken.

Because communicating is a minor offense, street prostitution is a major problem in many Canadian cities. See extensive separate report on Canadian Street Prostitution at While I highly support private prostitution as a choice for adults, I am totally against street prostitution, especially in residential areas. In my street report I discuss other options and my observations realizing I am an outsider, but monitor similar issues in other countries.

In Montreal, cities adjacent to Vancouver including Burnaby and Surrey and others have enforced the public communicating restrictions and have set up stings against men soliciting undercover cops on the street.

In Vancouver, in the high priced downtown streets the hookers help the cops instead of being adversaries. So the enforcement of the restrictions varies greatly and can change over time. Downtown prostitution in areas long known for prostitution is less offensive than in residential areas.

In other parts of Canada people are very upset with all the street walkers in their area and point out the flaws in the communications law which they hope to change: According to the Identification of Criminals Act, fingerprinting and photographing of individuals are only permitted for indictable offences. Many of those charged under section 213 use false identities, so it is difficult for authorities to identify repeat offenders or runaways. Summary offences are often just slaps on the wrist, and fines become "the price of doing business" for many offenders. With little sense of deterrence, it is easy for prostitutes and johns (sex trade offender) to meet on the streets.

Lyla who hosts one of the best Canadian sexworker discussion sites, in discussing street solicitation says:

"The law up here was actually *more lenient* when I first arrived in Canada. At that time, we had a "pressing and persistent" component to the law -- which meant that not only did a streetwalker have to pin a prospective customer, but she had to hold him down for a count of ten in order to qualify for a solicitation charge. ;-) "

But again it is not prostitution that is illegal, only the street solicitation. Prostitution itself is legal in all of Canada just how its done is restricted.

2."Bawdy Houses" are illegal. This provision was made part of the Canadian Federal Code in 1850. Yes, 1850. A bawdy house is a place kept, occupied or used by at least one person for the purposes of prostitution or indecent acts. Therefore incall service is illegal but enforcement of this varies in different cities from almost no enforcement unless also involves other activities such as drugs or illegal aliens, to even trying to use this provision to shut down swing clubs in some Eastern Canadian cities.

Most sex workers and government agencies agree the law against brothels prevents prostitutes from working safely. LCC president Nathalie Des Rosiers says, "If the idea is to ensure safety of sex workers, being in a group is better than being alone, because they can share information. The criminalization of brothels prevents this."

Any place regularly used for prostitution or "indecent acts" is considered a "bawdy house," which can include brothels, bathhouses and prostitutes' apartments if they bring clients. This means sex workers can only legally make outcalls to ad hoc places, leaving them vulnerable; even using the same hotel frequently can be illegal. Charges can be laid against "keepers" of bawdy houses; "found-ins" (usually johns); and "inmates" (anyone who works on the premises). Landlords can also be charged if they know "indecent" acts are taking place on the property.

It is illegal to be an "inmate" or a "found within") in a bawdy house. But this is very difficult to prosecute. In 2000 hundreds of Peal police raided 3 strip clubs in the Toronto area where illegal sex acts were observed (handjobs, oral etc). 74 were arrested mostly on "being an inmate" charges. All charges were later dropped.

To be charged with being found within a common bawdy house (s still a mens rea offence meaning you had to have had knowledge that you were in such a place. The prosecution is in a difficult position in the absence of statements by accused because when you're in your room in a massage place or in the VIP area of a strip club, you don't know whats going on in the other parts of the spa or club and accordingly how do you have knowledge if you can't see whats goig on. Now there are two tests, The known test, and the ought to have known test. A statement like "Oh come was just a hand job." could sink you.

Massage Parlor Bawdy Issue confusing
Performing sexual services in a massage clinic may be illegal if the police can prove the clinic is a place which has as its purpose prostitution. If it is implied that a sex act is available but will cost the client extra and a discussion ensues about price for sexual services the masseuse and client are committing an illegal act (communication for the purpose of prostitution -- s. 213) unless the discussion occurs in a massage room. In that case, no illegal act has been committed. Source:

Note the "unless the discussion occurs in a massage room" !!

In another section they do indicate that if the massage parlour is frequently and habitually used for the purposes of prostitution, massage parlours can be prosecuted under the bawdy law.

In my experience in most Toronto MPs', as well as in other Canadian cities, you don't discuss any sexual act to get a hj. It is just done without any extra cost as part of the massage! There is no communication issue it seems.

So that leaves the "frequently and habitually used for the purpose of prostitution" issue. But there is no extra cost for the hj. And if the massage room is private for the purpose of communications, it there would seem to be an argument it would be private for the purpose of prostitution and therefore not subject to bawdy.

I realize this is regarding Criminal acts, not licensing bylaws.

If is well known that if the MP does anything sexual for a fee (including hj but this is commonly ignored), MP can be in violation of a licensing bylaw and risks the owner of fines and closure - but criminal bawdy house violation including just being in these places, seems open to interpretation and these charges are seldom brought it seems.

In 2003 the City of Brampton passed a bylaw outlawing nudity in massage parlors.  But a Court issued a stay so that the bylaw can not be enforced until issue settled in Court.  Here are comments on a public board discussing the Brampton bylaw:

There are many legal issues that support the MPAs. First, and foremost is speech. Having a regulated/licensed nude spa is the right of citizens, period. Therefore nudity cannot be regulated by a law. Secondly, in the issue of health, an MPA can prove that such a licensed spa between nude consenting adults can have private moments inside a space of such consent. Since an MPA is considered a "private space" upon a rental charge for the room, it is then considered as private. This is why Edmonton adapted the code "inside a massage parlor as legal". So those are the main points to be focused on. The right of speech and the right of privacy inside a paid space (i.e.: rented) for the use to be private, in which it is sterilized (i.e.: cleaned) afterwards can easily be proven to show the by-law is unconstitutional. The correlation for such a private space in relation to a hotel room is equal as both are just rented spaces.
In 2005 in the Toronto area, cities like Markham in the under the authority of the Peal Regional Police, there have been many busts to close down unlicensed massage parlors, or those licensed with far lower license costs as Aromatherapy parlors that actually do massage but escape the almost $10,000 annual license fees.   There are reports of more limited busts for bawdy at licensed parlors but usually when more than a handjob is involved. Mississauga and Brampton on the other hand have no LE actions at licensed parlors, and the progressive long-time elder Ms Mayor of Mississauga supports nude-reverse as an option so its just part of the normal massage parlor menu. 

As posted on by locals:
'Markham and Brampton are two completely areas as far as demographics go. Markham is more of white collar business types, along with the obligatory soccer moms driving the bmws to pick up the kids from school, lots of big corporations etc. that have some considerable clout if they complain to the city.

Brampton on the other hand is more of a hard working blue collar city, people move their because its one of the most affordable areas in the GTA to live and most of the business is small industrial units owned by hardworking immigrants (the same kind I like to rent my units out to), who for the most part come from very poor male dominated societies where prostitution is very normal and their wives are just happy for the food on the table.

I prefer Brampton, less pretentious!"

MP's generate a lot of tourism dollars, provide jobs, (What else would Toronto do with all its immigrants?) as well as provide a safe outlet to dissipate men's sexual urges.

Many people think the 1850 bawdy restrictions should be abolished. It would be much safer for the provider to work out of her own home, or a commercial sex establishment, properly zoned and business licensed, then going to the customers home.

In general, Canadian police are paying progressively less attention to bawdy house violations and off-street prostitution in general and more on street prostitution (car sex) which understandably upsets neighborhoods. This public sex is far different than private consenting adult sexual services, for which there should be no legal barriers.

Local LE Harassment Sometimes More a Real Issue
In a community that doesn't like adult body rubs, they can still arrest people as a method of harassment. Cops can raid a place, arrest everyone on some charge or other, then the Crown drops the charges. Meanwhile, names are released to the media, press conferences are held, and maybe even the media got invited along on the raid. The public, especially the family, friends, and coworkers of the people arrested, will always remember they got arrested. If it even makes it into the newspaper, the decision to drop the charges gets buried and few remember that or even hear about it.

While it may be tough for them to prove a charge enough for it to get to court and then prove it enough for a conviction, they only need "reasonable grounds" to make an arrest and for many people such an arrest would be a bad thing.

The cops have done this many times in massage parlor raids in conservative communities. That is why its nice to be in Mississauga for example where the elderly women mayor (Hazel McCallion) supports private sensuality in adult body rubs instead of it going underground. Harassment varies with local attitudes. BTW, Hazel McCallion has won every mayoral election contested since 1978. Even at 86 years old she shows little sign of withdrawing from Canadian politics, gaining re-election in 2003 and receiving the Order of Canada in 2005 as well as being runner-up in World Mayor 2005. She is the longest serving mayor in Canada and has kept the city debt-free since her first term of office.

You can be tuned back on both sides of the border because you have been arrested many years ago even if charges were dropped before any trial and there was no criminal record, so being arrested can cause a lot of problems.

The cops know that and make use of it. If they decided some day that they wanted to close the MPs, they could raid them all and arrest everyone "on suspicion" of this or that, then drop the charges when they "checked things out" -- knowing full well from the start that that's what they would do. It would have their desired effect by scaring customers and staff. If they ever decided to, they could harass the MPs into closing and never need to convict anyone of anything.

Just because you're not doing anything illegal doesn't mean you can't be arrested anyway.

In Canada, prostitution law enforcement tends to be complaint driven. The complaints are predominantly about street prostitution, not incall (bawdy houses) or agencies.

Outcall sexual services of an independent provider is absolutely legal in all of Canada under long-established Federal Law. Canada is much more the land of the sexually free than the U.S.!

2007 -  Parlour's 'manual release' ruled legal
Charges thrown out in masturbation case
Do you just pay for massage and "manual release" simply optional no fee addition
Argument of course is similar in the U.S. including for time paid for an escort
A Canadian judge rules it wasn't sex

Some cities like Vaughan (suburb of Toronto) are going after unlicensed body rub parlors under the rarely enforced bawdy house law that makes incall prostitution illegal, while outcall has always been legal.

Justice Howard Chisvin, of the Ontario Court of Justice, dismissed two bawdy house charges against a body rub manager saying: "The payment of money was for a full-body massage. The act of masturbation was optional, at no additional fee. I wonder, and am left in doubt as to whether or not the community might consider the act of masturbation in all situations to be sexual."

The judge then made a reference to Clinton's liaison with the intern. "One only needs to look to the conduct of a certain president of the United States and ... the activity that he participated in to wonder whether or not the act of masturbation is indeed, in all circumstances, a sexual act."

Will the judge's ruling open the flood gates for more "happy endings" at rub and tugs without fear of police prosecution? Lawyer Alan Gold says it's too early to tell. But he said he believed the judgment to be unprecedented and said it will be in the next issue of his Criminal Law Netletter, a collection of "novel and important" cases.

In his ruling, Chisvin was critical of the undercover York Regional police officer in the case. The court heard how the officer stripped naked, lay first on his stomach and then flipped over for the female attendant, stopping her when she put her oiled-up hands on his penis.
He went to the massage parlour again, going through the drill with another attendant. "It strikes me that his actions were not only unnecessary but outside a protocol of investigative techniques of offences of this nature and bordered on no more than attending for self-gratification."

Source: from 9/11/2007

Good comments:
... Kinda like McDonald's offering free smiles with your meal. You dint pay for it, didn't ask for it, but it was nice to get and you'll probably go back since they made you feel special.

Unless it's challenged in appeals court, it becomes legal precedent. The judge has defined that a HJ in itself is not prostitution if no dealing took place, and that it wasn't an indecent act that would have made the place a common bawdy house. Lets hope that, in the future, the justice system spends its time prosecuting real crime, instead of stimulation between consenting adults.

I prefer to have my penis massaged by a vagina. Now THAT's a full body massage *g*

3. "Procuring and living off the income (avails) of prostitution" is illegal with its source back in the 1800s. Currently most of the enforcement of this law is against pimps living off the income of street prostitutes often also associated with drug crimes.  The procuring restriction seeks to protect individuals from exploitation. It covers pimping, child prostitution and importing foreign sexworkers illegally often as almost slaves to those that got them into Canada often to escape conditions in their own country.

But it can also be applied to legitimate escort agencies that screen and offer some protection for the provider. Again enforcement varies widely and many think agency services should be allowed to protect the provider.

The Ontario Court of Appeals has ruled that living of the avails crime cannot be used against boyfriends or room mates of a prostitute as long as the relationship is not parasitical (forced). But this exemption does not extend to agencies.

In 2005 an agency owner in Niagara Falls Ontario, plea bargained a procuring charge when an undercover cop looking for drug buys posed as a taxi driver and picked up the agency owner.  She had no drugs but taxi driver/cop discussed sexwork and being an escort saying he had a girlfriend interested in the business.  When agency owner answered questions regarding working for her, she was charged with procuring.  Her sentence was only community service.  The legal costs to fight the charge at trial was not worth the fight.

Canadian agencies might avoid the legal problem of living off the income of prostitution by just charging a reasonable flat service fee for listing, advertising and appointment setting, unrelated to the providers income. Interestingly Agencies are far more common in Montreal and there seems to be no enforcement of the bawdy restrictions as has been accepted for many years. In Vancouver it is mostly independent escorts, and Toronto seems to have a good mix of both. While agencies are technically illegal they are usually tolerated unless they are involved in other crimes such as drugs or hiring illegal aliens.

It's not illegal for a sexworker to live off her own income from prostitution -- only for someone else to live off (receive any financial benefit) from her prostitution income.

But with various city escort licensing bylaws the issue gets more complicated. Often its the city that could be argued is living of the avails with their high agency licensing fees.

In Victoria, most agencies have incalls.  Technically this may violated both the living of avails and bawdy house laws.  But the Victoria Police regularly inspect the incalls simply checking to be sure everyone is licensed as an escort and no underage gals are working.  The city collects an agency licensing fee of about $1000 and each escort license is about $300.

Calgary Escort Licensing Dichotomy
The City of Calgary has similar licensing. Here is a discussion from in the Fall of 2005 from Calgary newspaper articles:

Which makes the City of Calgary's licencing scheme pretty dubious. But I assume at the very least, it provides practical immunity from being busted for the agencies concerned - unless they are doing very wrong things re disease, minors or health risks.

Is it fair to say the Calgary Police Service leaves escort agencies alone unless there is a public complaint?" asked lawyer Patrick Fagan. "Aye, sir," replied Det. Gordon McCulloch, who has spent more than seven years in the vice unit. During his two tours with the unit, McCulloch has investigated only two escort agencies, including the one he was testifying about...

Fagan contends the city has legalized prostitution through the licensing of escorts. Court heard that to obtain a city licence, a potential escort must be interviewed by a civilian member of the vice unit. "Have you ever interviewed an escort who isn't a prostitute?" Fagan asked McCulloch.
"No, sir," he replied.
"Is it true that in order to work legitimately as an escort, you have to have an escort licence from the City of Calgary?" "Yes, sir," said McCulloch.

Fagan asked the 25-year veteran if all escort agencies were fronts for prostitution. McCulloch said he didn't know about all, but he agreed the ones he had investigated were.

But of course the vice squad cops and ex-cop Member of Parliament from Calgary Art Hanger say it would be immoral to change the laws to allow escort agencies to operate completely legally. And there's nothing questionable or hypocritical about all this, is there?

...A one-time escort herself, she described her own meeting with the vice squad years before when she was applying for her licence. "They told me I was basically going into a job that allowed sex for money," she said.

It was a claim later backed up by Kathryn Coonfer, a former civilian employee of the city police vice unit. Coonfer, who told court she'd interviewed "countless" young women applying to be escorts over an eight year period, admitted, "It was my understanding that they understood what they were getting into."

...One question on the official interview list -- "Are you aware of the sexual nature of the industry you are entering?"
I don't know how significant it would be for the rest of the country, but it could be interesting if his argument is successful, and ironic that it would be happening in morally conservative Alberta.

Or you could argue that, if running an agency was illegal under the criminal code, why exactly does the City of Calgary license agencies and require licensed escorts to work for a licensed agency or hold an escort agency license themselves?

If anyone is "living off the avails" in Calgary, it's the municipal bylaw office itself! There's a lot of evidence -- offered here and otherwise -- that municipalities such as Calgary aand Edmonton knew they were getting into the pimping business by licensing escorts.

An escort said: One thing that really pisses me off is that escort applicants were photographed and fingerprinted -- essentially treated like criminals -- and when they questioned why, some were told that it was so that when their bodies were found murdered in ditches, they could be identified.

This is utter bullshit! Escorts probably have a lower rate of violent assault/murder than women in the general population. If this argument were valid, then cops should really be fingerprinting/mug shotting young brides -- because it's a lot more likely that a woman will be murdered by her husband or boyfriend than an escort will be by her customers -- in Alberta or elsewhere in Canada.

4. The sexual procurement and purchasing sex from children and youth. More recently there has been more concern with children (under age 18) in prostitution. The age of consent in Canada is a uniform age 14 UNLESS for financial reward. In the U.S. every state sets its own age of consent which varies from 13 to 18. In Canada be sure you don't have sex with anyone 14-18. It is not statutory rape if over 14, but a different offense which can result in 10 years prison time. Even tougher penalties if the provider is under age 12 which I totally agree with.

Supreme Court of Canada Upholds Lap Dancing as Legal In Strip Clubs
I have a separate very detailed report on the lap dancing situation in Canada at

The problems in Canada revolve around the agency and bawdy house restrictions being too rigid. But often police/cities don't enforce these restrictions if there are no complaints. Otherwise the laws are in line with what we propose (at decriminalization section) in the U.S. In fact, our proposals would address all of these issues and should be very acceptable to citizens in general given the proper facts and public education.

In Canada the problems with prostitution are far less than in the U.S. and there seems to be agreement that criminalization would only make the matter worse...just like in the U.S.

Canadian sexwork laws are similar to British and French laws since France is one of the countries that colonized Canada. It is also quite similar to laws in the rest of Europe, Australia and most other countries. In Asian and Latin America in the countries where it is illegal it is usually tolerated and law not enforced.. In fact in many countries (parts of Mexico, Philippines, Thailand and many others) even where "illegal" the government licenses providers (Guest relations officers like in PI) and requires STD and HIV testing. In Thailand the Entertainment Act of 1960 basically makes most all tourist sex legal as "special services" Thailand wanted to protect all the U.S. service men resting. and recreating in Thailand during the Vietnam war since sexwork brought (and still does) so many needed economic benefits. Mexico has its zones where it is legal, and only a few states regulate it at all.

Other people's responses:
The tac that the law takes in Canada is to prohibit those forms of prostitution that are recognizable public nuisances, and/or lead to exploitation or encourage participation of "criminal elements" and activities.

The result has been lower prices, better quality of providers and services, and in many cases LE working with both providers and clients to make a safer environment for all concerned. The rip off factor in Canada is extremely low, and there are reported instances of the law attacking rip off scenarios in defense of both clients and providers. Of course there are many escorts in the US that fear any moves in this direction. Now they would have to actually tell a client the exact nature of their longer could they hide behind this "fee for time" nonsense.

Arguably, if prostitution is a private matter practiced amongst consenting adults, the government has no right to criminalize the act. A federal statute protecting that basic right is appropriate under the law, just as the right to abortion is protected under federal statute. The only legitimate objection is when such practice takes place in a public venue.

The laws in Canada are based on the concept of "consenting adults in private" and that the government has no business regulating this behavior in private. But society does have the right to regulate and ban prostitution in public. Sounds reasonable to me. And you get great service at a fair price without all the LE and Ripoff BS, in Canada. I never use U.S. escorts anymore. I got tired of paying $200+ for an "air-dance".

There are some great and honest providers in the U.S., but it seems as if many 'escorts' are against legalization because it would cause them to have to be honest and upfront about their service. Cozy little system we have in the States, isn't it?

For extensive information on the legal situation in the U.S. and ideas for decriminalization see

The Morality Police vs Common Sense Sexwork Article
In Toronto of course not the U.S. where police use no common sense when going after consenting adult sexworkers.

globe & mail editorial: the legality of escorts advertising in newspapers/yellowpages
The importance of being earnest and doing nothing
Tolerance May Be Best Policy
Monday, April 22, 2002 - Print Edition, Page A11

The morality squads of the nation stir from time to time, raised from their appropriate torpor by the scent of exploitable outrage or affronts to official decency.

This month, it is the "discovery" that many escort agencies are agents of prostitution: "On the face of it, escort services are legal enterprises unless they're offering more than just the escort," says one Toronto police officer after arresting 12 people for "living off the avails." Their crime was not the provision of sexual services for money, which is quite legal in Canada. It was managing a business to do so.

The personal columns of the interesting publications in Canada are chock full of explicit ads by prostitutes offering the illusion of affection and the promise of release.

These ads and what they deliver are quite legal for three reasons:

(1) They are placed by self-employed individuals. No one manages their work or shares in their revenue, so no one is living off the "avails" of prostitution -- a criminal offence.

(2) The self-employed sex worker offers nothing but home delivery. The act of sexual commerce is not habitually concluded in the same place. Thus, we avoid the Criminal Code's prohibition on "keeping a common bawdy house" -- defined by a place regularly used for commercial physical gratification or acts of "gross indecency" (another can of worms).

(3) The ads are placed in paper or electronic publications that do not qualify as a "public place" when it comes to soliciting. Soliciting is a crime only when it scares the horses, slows traffic, threatens property values or otherwise gets up the noses of tourists or the bourgeoisie. Soliciting in public is a portentous crime; soliciting in the classified ads is a legal convenience.

The escort services that fatten the ad budgets of the Yellow Pages and colourful journals risk the attention of morality squads because of their structure: These businesses are managed, which means that the executives of those that provide prostitutes "live off the avails." It doesn't matter that the businesses may be well-managed, or that the sex workers may be safer or better cared for there. If the police are stirred from their torpor in these cases, it is an easy hit under the Criminal Code.

To be fair, the police may prefer to ignore these realities, accepting how constructively hypocritical they really are. But then someone comes along and lays a complaint, and what are the police to do -- especially if it involves a minor? Attention must be paid and then, we hope, the importance of seeming earnest and doing nothing returns, and the business of adult prostitution is left to serve the public comme d'habitude.

This is one of these cases where hypocrisy may be better than reform in dealing with public policy and social change. Because prostitution itself is legal, the Criminal Code regulates it through various prohibitions -- no public soliciting, no managing, no habitual locale, no recruitment, no minors. Observe the rules and it's full steam ahead. Offend the least sensible rules -- living off the avails -- while running an otherwise admirable operation, and the police will generally let you be.

The alternatives are either messy amendments to the Criminal Code that require MPs to vote for a liberalized sex trade, or appeals to the courts under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, claiming affronts to freedom of expression or such. The first is unrealistic, and the second is improbable, so official tolerance is the best option, with all the risks of arbitrary enforcement of the law that this implies.

There is a parallel in the application of laws against marijuana use, though the police remain oddly more vigilant on this file than they do on commercial sex. You assume you can relax in enjoying a joint or two at a weekend party, secure in the assumption that the police have grown tired of pretending that the Criminal Code should apply to this, whatever its formal status. Yet, many Canadians are still dragged before criminal courts for simple marijuana possession, clouding their futures with silly convictions at ridiculous cost. If we cannot insist on more hypocrisy in the application of this law, it might actually have to be changed.

Discretion is the soul of justice, and sometimes discretion effectively suspends whole sections of law in the face of changing values. Remember how we refused to execute murderers for years out of sheer abhorrence, despite the existence of the death penalty? Now we would do so out of simple humility, given our demonstrated skill in convicting the wrong people.

Ignoring the law can be wiser than enforcing, interpreting or revising it. The same principle applies to many other aspects of life.

New Zealand Decrim - Possible Example  for Canada
New Zealand's public pressure to reverse decrim of street hookers.

New Zealand is used as an example by the decrim advocates of what they want to achieve in Canada and other countries. The decrim zealots want to make street solicitation legal which is a failed concept in almost all of the world where its been tried. Even special zones set up in Europe have mostly resulted in more crime, child trafficking and have been failures.

Yet the decrim zealots want to force the public to accept street hookers rights to be "in the face" of the public, regardless of how upset the public is.

Since private sexwork, with various restrictions for incalls, is already legal in most of the world except the U.S. the decrim issue in most countries centers on public street hookers.

Press Release: Manukau City Council (3rd largest city in New Zealand)
24 November 2005

Manukau City Council is seeking strong support from all MPs for the successful passage through Parliament of two local bills on prostitution which were introduced to the House on 22 November. The bills will undergo their first reading on 7 December and if successful will be referred to a select committee.

Mayor Sir Barry Curtis who has advocated long and hard on both issues says, “I appeal to Manukau residents: if you want change, lobby your local MP on both issues. In September a rally was held at Hunters Corner against prostitution and a petition was signed supporting both bills which has been sent to Parliament.

“You have the power to help bring about change and clean up your environment. Wednesday 7 December is our biggest hurdle to clear. We need to raise awareness of the bills’ importance for our city and gain support of MPs so that they pass their first reading. I, along with Councillors and Council officials, will be continuing to lobby hard to bring about change to improve the quality of life for our residents. “This week I am sending a letter to the Prime Minister, Ministers of the Crown and all Members of Parliament summarising the bills and requesting their support.”

The Local Bill on street prostitution aims to give authorities the powers to prevent street prostitution by prohibiting soliciting in public places in Manukau City. This applies to both street prostitutes and their clients and to nuisance conduct connected with street prostitution. It also provides Police with powers to request information, to issue instant fines of $500, to arrest suspected offenders, and to prosecute offenders in Court that may result in a fine of up to $10,000.

Sir Barry says, “The Bill is part of a multi-pronged approach to limit prostitution to legally established brothels. The Bill does not re-criminalise prostitution in the whole of the City. Prostitution would continue within safe, regulated and lawfully established brothels (outcalls have always been legal of course as in most of the world except the U.S.). Street prostitution is not conducive to any of the aims of the Prostitution Reform Act 2003, which aims to safeguard the health and safety of sex workers and limit persons in that industry to those over 18 years of age.”

Dave says, this idea could be used for reform laws in Canada (and hopefully some day in the U.S.) Instead of insisting on total decriminalization, realize the overall public view that private consenting adult sex should not be a legal issue, yet public street soliciting is a huge public nuisance issue. Therefore, increase penalties for street solicitation, while providing safe legal alternatives. In addition programs should be expanded to provide drug rehab for street hookers with diversion programs that would eliminate criminal street solicitation convictions. Provide help to the street hooker, who usually is desperate for drug money be a responsible citizen who can choose to work if she chooses in a safe incall or private sexwork as an option. But not stoned and not on the streets

In Canada, abolish the bawdy house law and make incalls subject to the same type of zoning requirements as any other legitimate business. Eliminate the living off the avails and procuring laws that can be used against agencies, but keep them for parasitic pimp type relationships.