The Need for Wise Silence with Bill C-36

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For the Record: C-36, The Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act

Familiarize yourself with the Progressive Conservatives' Bill C-36 — The Canadian Model — drawn up to protect those exploited persons in the sex trade. 

I have spoken out before about my support of the Nordic Model (criminalizing johns and pimps; protecting vulnerable women, children and men). Some of my friends and colleagues support a full decriminalization, finding Bill C-36 to be unconstitutional.

I have NOT Facebooked, tweeted, or blogged every article, opinion or response to the bill.

Why?

It has become almost impossible to have a civil discussion about the people at the core of the social injustices we see. I disagree that fully decriminalizing prostitution is the solution to the exploitation of vulnerable people in Canada. I believe prostitution in the worlds oldest OPPRESSION (rather than profession), and suppresses the rights and responsibilities of women in Canada. I believe both sides have religious, moral and value-based responses. And I believe both sides have areas of common ground.

However when I am accused of pushing my morality on others (full stop; no idea about the real purpose of Bill C-36), when people expose their own lack of education towards the sex trade, prostitution and sex trafficking and use the fall-back of the Constitution, or when basic internet trolling riles people up to say unspeakable junk… I have no reason to dialogue.

Has the Nordic Model side been fully angelic? Hardly. Both sides have been guilty of presenting simple solutions at various points to a complex issue, and both sides have been guilty of smearing the other, and both sides have been guilty of refusing to talk with the other side.

Why have I been largely silent on promoting my support?

It's not because I'm scared.

It's because at this point in time, much of the dialogue has lapsed into mud-slinging and finger-pointing. Of course things are going to get more heated as the decision around The Canadian Model gets closer. Of course Canada is going to see Bill C-36 as a PC push, with many Canadians believing having lost faith in what seems a harsher, less democratic PC government. Why would the public dig deeper? Some feel this is nothing more than another removal of freedom.

Reading the comments on various articles shows the cruelty internet anonymity offers. People highly invested in protecting exploited Canadians, whatever their opinions, can only shake their heads at how mean our country folk treats one another online. There's no use or value in engaging people on this platform. Name-calling and ridicule ensues, and (if you're like me) you lose valuable time for other more important things.

I invite people from varying opinions across the spectrum into dialogue. You know my stance, but also understand this: I am listening. I want to understand where you're coming from and why.

And I want us to be able to respect each other deeply at the end of the day, desiring to raise a glass to one another.

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