Canada Court Legalizes Brothels in Landmark Ruling

Ontario’s top court has legalized brothels, saying Canadian prostitution laws unfairly discriminate against prostitutes and their ability to work in safe environments.

A panel of five judges wrote that the law banning common bawdy houses “is grossly disproportionate” if all it aims to do is keep public order in a neighborhood and maintain public health standards.

“The record is clear that the safest way to sell sex is for a prostitute to work indoors, in a location under her control,” the judges wrote in a much anticipated ruling. “The impact on those put at risk by the legislation is extreme,” the judges added.

However, the court stopped short of allowing prostitutes to openly solicit customers on the streets. The court ruled that prohibiting solicitation remains a “a reasonable limit on the right to freedom of expression.”

Supporters of the ruling said the laws governing prostitution in Canada would now have to change: “Any form of criminalization pushes the industry underground and gives opportunities to predators. You can see it through the world,” said Nikki Thomas, executive director of Sex Professionals of Canada.

The judicial panel ruled that the changes should not take affect for at least one year, allowing the government to amend its criminal code. Any of those changes would apply to the entire country, not just the province of Ontario. But the Canadian government released a statement saying it was now weighing its legal options.

Source: CNN

Image: Bossip

Canadian Freeskier Dies in Training Accident

Freestyle skier Sarah Burke from Canada has died from injuries sustained in a training accident. Burke, 29, helped bring freestyle skiing events to the Winter Olympics, and was considered a gold medal contender for the 2014 Games.

She was injured in a superpipe accident at Park City in the US state of Utah on 11 January. Tests showed the freestyle skier had sustained “irreversible damage to her brain”, a family spokeswoman said. The four-time Winter X Games champion crashed on the same superpipe where snowboarder Kevin Pearce suffered a traumatic brain injury during a training accident in late 2009. The best-known athlete in her sport, Burke specialised in skiing the superpipe in this sport – a version of a traditional halfpipe with walls over 5m (16ft) high.

A native of Midland, Ontario, Burke won was named female action sports athlete of the year by TV network ESPN in 2007. Burke tore her vertebral artery as a result of the fall, which led to severe bleeding on the brain. That caused her to go into cardiac arrest on the scene, where CPR was performed.

“The family expresses their heartfelt gratitude for the international outpouring of support they have received from all the people Sarah touched,” Nicole Wool, her spokeswoman said. Burke’s organs and tissues were donated as per her wishes.


Source: BBC News

Image: Discovery