Supreme Court


Impact of prohibition disproportionate to legislative objective

Applicants challenging common bawdy-house provision for violating principles of fundamental justice. Applicants leading evidence that bawdy-house prohibition precluded prostitutes taking effective safety measures by establishing “in call” service. Application judge holding provision overbroad, arbitrary, grossly disproportionate, marginally advanced legislative objective of reducing social nuisance while drastically interfering with prostitute’s safety. Appeal from declaration common bawdy-house provision unconstitutional dismissed. Impact of bawdy-house prohibition disproportionate to legislative objective. Appropriate remedy was to strike down provision entirely but suspend declaration for 12 months.

Bedford v. Canada (Attorney General) (Dec. 20, 2013, S.C.C., McLachlin C.J.C., LeBel J., Fish J., Abella J., Rothstein J., Cromwell J., Moldaver J., Karakatsanis J., and Wagner J., File No. 34788) Decision at 100 W.C.B. (2d) 704 was reversed in part.  110 W.C.B. (2d) 753.

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