Landmark case involving London couple calls sex-work laws into question

  Canada’s prostitution laws are being questioned at a landmark case in Kitchener, involving a London couple.

Closing arguments are underway by lawyers who say a new federal law that came into play five years ago violates the rights of sex works.

The case, which was moved to Kitchener this week from London, surrounds a London couple who ran an escort agency.

Tiffany Harvey and Hamad Anwar were charged in 2015 when London police busted Fantasy World Escorts.

The pair is facing a number of charges:

  • Advertising sexual services
  • Making money from the sex trade
  • Procuring for the sex trade

The couple is challenging these charges, saying they violate a sex worker’s rights to a safe work environment.

As part of closing arguments, the defence says third-party agencies provide safety and security to a woman who is already in a vulnerable work environment.

On Wednesday morning, lawyers argued that Fantasy World advertised a code of conduct. It included things like clients needing to use condoms and act like gentlemen.

It also allowed communications for service to be done at a distance as opposed to on the street or in a public place.

The case is currently being heard but could eventually be bumped up to the Supreme Court of Canada.

The defence has wrapped up its case, while the Crown began its close just after noon.