The Bedford parties featured in the documentary, Buying Sex (National Film Board, 2013) participated on the assurance that the goal of the film was to raise public awareness regarding the nature of the constitutional challenge to Canada’s prostitution laws.
Regrettably, Buying Sex provides an incomplete and inaccurate account of the case. Through highly selected editing, the film marginalizes and trivializes the significance of the court challenge.
Bedford v Canada is not about legalization, decriminalization or the ‘Swedish model’ advanced by some advocates. Nor is this case about polarizing a feminist debate. Bedford is about individual’s constitutional right to security of the person under s.7 of the Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms.
Counsel for the Bedford parties has written a letter to the director and the producers of Buying Sex explaining their objections to the film.
You may read a copy of the letter to National Film Board of Canada here
You may read a copy of the letter to the director here: Letter from Bedford Counsel objecting to BS
The materials on this site:
The materials on this site are intended to assist the public is gaining a better understanding of the constitutional challenge to Canada’s prostitution laws in Bedford v Canada.
The filmmaker in Buying Sex selectively edited all the information provided by lead counsel, Alan Young which resulted in a misleading portrayal of the case. For a more factual synopsis of the issues, please see this interview by Steve Paikin of TVO, where Alan Young discusses the nature of the constitutional challenge in greater detail.
You may also view the full record of Bedford v Canada, including the arguments from all parties, the evidence, and the court decisions here: Full Record of Bedford v Canada.
While the claims of the abolitionists featured in the documentary are important and worth analyzing, they have little relevance to the constitutional claims raised in this case. However, if you would like more information in response to abolitionist’s claims, please see Selling Sex, by Emily van der Meulen, Elys M. Durisin, and Victoria Love (University of British Columbia Press).