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December 3, 2014 Updated: December 4, 2014

OTTAWA—One of the women behind a successful court challenge of Canada’s old prostitution law is taking issue with the date its controversial replacement will take effect.

Bill C-36, which was passed last month, goes into effect on Saturday, Dec. 6—the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women.

That’s the anniversary of the 1989 shooting deaths of 14 women at Ecole Polytechnique in Montreal.

Valerie Scott says the new law only encourages violence against women and continues to put lives at risk—and she calls it “sick” and “twisted” that it takes effect on Saturday.

The Supreme Court agreed with Scott and other advocates when it struck down Canada’s prostitution laws last year on the grounds they violated the rights of sex workers to safety and security.

An official in Justice Minister Peter MacKay’s office says the government had no control over when the new law would take effect.
Bill C-36, known as the “Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act,” criminalizes the purchase of sex, but provides legal immunity to those who sell it—a measure the government says protects prostitutes.