On June 13, Canada’s highest court will hear the appeal by federal prosecutors of a lower court ruling that struck down three anti-prostitution laws for violating the Charter Of Rights And Freedoms.
Now we learn that it’s possible sex workers won’t have as strong a voice as they need in these proceedings. Presiding Judge Richard Wagner, it turns out, has denied intervenor status to many groups with frontline experience in the issues at stake.
This is a terrible loss. Shut out were organizations like Maggie’s: the Toronto Sex Workers Action Project, Stella and the Feminist Coalition, representing 23 women’s shelters, rape crisis centres and clinics.
At the same time, the judge has allowed participation by a range of prostitution abolitionist groups with religious affiliations, like the anti-feminist REAL Women, Christian Legal Fellowship, Catholic Civil Rights League, Evangelical Fellowship of Canada and more.