Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Wacking the Piñata. With updates!

C36 — the Harper government, with its usual doublespeak flair, titles it the Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act — is just one MASSIVE piñata of a Bill.  And when it is whacked, all sorts of goodies come tumbling out. Like Don the Plumber's John School™ - but more on that, later.

No no no.  This piñata  is NOT what you think it is.  Get your mind OUT of the gutter.

This piñata was previously a commemorative War of 1812™ genuine papier mâché artillery cannon replica produced for its never-ending celebrations and now recycled by the ever-so thrifty Harper government. It was spray-painted Barbie™ pink to please the ladies. 

"What's in the C36 piñata ?" you may ask.  Although it was thoroughly wacked at the House of Commons Justice Committee proceedings, it appears that more goodies are popping out for the Senate committee studying the bill.

MacKay, speaking to reporters, said the Conservative government decided to take a calculated risk that any Charter challenge would ultimately fail.

That’s largely because, he said, the law is a legal shift towards outlawing the purchase of sex and viewing prostitution as the exploitation of “vulnerable” women, not the nuisance targeted under the now-unconstitutional laws against street prostitution or bawdy houses. 

The bill doesn’t “enable prostitution” but it will still allow those who “claim to freely choose” prostitution to do so safely, work indoors or hire body guards, said MacKay. It gives “legal immunity” to prostitutes, and so directly “responds to” the Supreme Court of Canada’s concerns in its Bedford ruling in December, MacKay told a Senate committee studying the amended bill. [...]

MacKay said he made his own assessment after discussions with “other lawyers and judges.” He shrugged off the prospect of more court battles.

“I’ve been around this place a while,” MacKay said. “I’ve practiced law, I’ve argued both for and against certain Charter submissions. But I don’t suffer from Charter constipation.”

So. The unCONstipated Minister for Lady Parts and Weaponry Peter MacKay claims that sexworkers will get "legal immunity". 

Some senators, who are also lawyers, are not so sure how that "legal immunity" would apply.  

Wait!!! Here's a thought. Why can't the C36 pinãta offer "legal immunity" to ALL women and girls who suffer any form of sexualized violence? Most harassment and rape isn't perpetrated by clients or johns. Shouldn't every woman and every girl be *rescued* from daily sexualized violence too?

One man speaking to senators was adamant that clients should all attend John School; his contention was that "fathers and grandfathers" who buy sex services are completely transformed by the program.  Presumably none of them ever sexually harass or violate ANY woman EVER again.

(Hell, why not send every Tom, Dick or Harry to John School?  That's the ticket; compel all boys and men to complete this program; those who actually don't coerce women (or pay them) to have sex can mentor the ones who do.  Surely that's the logical outcome to C36, if the premise is actually what the Cons pretend it is.... Aaaaand, make sure CPC MP Bob Dechert is sitting in a desk at the front.)

Then there's senator Plett — so thoroughly repulsed and disgusted by sexwork that he would deprive sexworkers, specially those who have chosen this work, of legal protection and their right to safety. 

Employees in high-injury-risk occupations as varied as firefighters, healthcare professionals, cops, stunt performers, soldiers and pro athletes choose their work because of the high income, the benefits and the opportunities they derive from it.  But Plett doesn't see any of that; he is affronted that defiant women won't be shamed nor called victims, thus he wants them to be threatened, endangered and harmed.

Sour grapes! Bitter candy! Mouldy sweets! Senator Donald Plett wants those BAD women who don't want want to be rescued, PUNISHED!

My co-blogger fern hill looked into Plett's background. Hint: he's no lawyer but some of his best Con friends are...

The biggest, sparkliest, juiciest goody in the C36 piñata is that mythical whopping 20 Million $$$ that would ostensibly fund "rescue" programs that Evangelicals and Prohibitionists who support the bill would be awarded.  And Con MP Joy Smith's Foundation would get a chunk of that money too, with no pesky CRA audits I bet!

My suggestion: 

The Senate committee continues to hears presentations today.

In case you've missed it, go read @kwetoday's brief to the Senate standing committee on legal and constitutional affairs, here.  It exposes what a hollow, empty sham C36 really is. 

UPDATE: Plett the Plumber continues to blurt out loud the malevolent, sexist, gynophobic premise at the core of C36:

From this account of the second day of the Senate legal and constitutional affairs committee hearings on C36:

Here's another report from that day from Star journalist Tonda MacCharles. It was lively!


Alison said...

Bonus Plett, from 2012 : "Let me ask you this, honourable senators: If environmentalists are willing to accept money from Martians, where would they draw the line on where they receive money from? Would they take money from Al Qaeda, the Hamas or the Taliban?"

deBeauxOs said...

What a great catch, Alison. Thanks for posting it.

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