MacKay defends proposed prostitution laws

Justice Minister Peter MacKay. (QMI Agency files)

Justice Minister Peter MacKay. (QMI Agency files)

Jessica Hume, National Bureau

, Last Updated: 7:05 PM ET

Justice Minister Peter MacKay defended his government's proposed prostitution bill Monday and warned that without new laws governing the world's oldest profession, prostitution will become decriminalized by the end of the year.

The federal government was given a year to come up with new prostitution laws after the Supreme Court struck down previous ones on the grounds they weren't compliant with the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Bill C-36 has been controversial since the government introduced it earlier this spring.

One change the bill proposes is to shift the criminalization on to johns - the men who buy sex - rather than those selling sex.

The first of 60 witnesses to testify before the House justice committee between Monday and Thursday, Justice Minister Peter MacKay said the bill marks the first time the "inherent danger" of prostitution is recognized.


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