This week the Canadian House of Commons Justice Committee is holding a hearing on the Conservative government's proposed changes to Canada's Prostitution laws. Last year the Supreme Court struck down the Canadian prostitution laws on the grounds that they interfered with sex workers rights to Security of the Person, since it prevented them from legally protecting themselves at work. (Under the old laws, prostitution was not illegal, but communicating for the purposes of prostitution and living off the avails of prostition was. ) The government is now attempting to craft new prostitution laws that will be in line with the Supreme Court's ruling.
A number of witnesses before the committee have argued that the government's proposed changes to the prostitution laws themselves would violate the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. On Monday, Timea Nagy, a woman who was a victim of sex trafficking appeared before the committee to speak to her experiences. After listening to Nagy recount her experience of being gang-raped at a massage parlour, Conservative MP Robert Goguen asked her this jaw dropping question:
"You were describing a scenario where you were being raped, I believe, by three Russians. Let's suppose the police authorities would've broken in and rescued you. Would your freedom of expression have been in any way breached?"
Apparently this guy doesn't understand the difference between women choosing to work as prostitutes, and women being kidnapped, trafficked and gang-raped.
Make sure to watch the video at the link below. Keep an eye on the face of the man with white hair sitting on Goguen's left. The expression on his face after Goguen's idiotic question is stunning. I would love to have that turned into a animated gif.