I have to hand it to the far right: some of them are very organized and effective at getting supporters to lobby their Members of Parliament on social issues — so easy, in fact, that many site visitors don’t even recognize how the phrase “Funding International Abortion” is really a twisted way of rephrasing an agenda to perpetuate poverty and restrict access to abortion, condoms and contraception in Third World nations.
At the Association for Reformed Political Action (ARPA, which has as its catchphrase, “Shining the Light of God’s Word Across our Nation,” to indicate what bias they’d like that reform to have), there is an automated Easy Mail tool that will let you mail relevant Members of Parliament en masse from the comfort of your home, in three easy steps, starting with entering your postal code to find your MP.
In step two, it has you add your name and address, and gives you a preformatted letter that you can sign your name to.
… you can select all that text, delete it, and add your own personal take on the issue. Here is what I wrote with regards to the appeal of the recent ruling on sex work in Ontario:
Dear Honourable nnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn,
I too am concerned about the intention to appeal the ruling on sex work in Ontario. As someone who works with marginalized communities (Aboriginal, transgender, homeless), I am concerned both about sex work and human trafficking.
The UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children (or Trafficking Protocol) defines human trafficking as:
“The recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation. Exploitation shall include, at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labour or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs….”
Human trafficking doesn’t always include border migration, and the exploitation isn’t always about the selling and buying of sex, but the consistent elements are that one person ends up controlling another, via unethically-obtained consent or no consent at all, for the purposes of exploitation.
This is not, of course, the same as sex work. Some women and men have turned to sex work for a variety of reasons. Poverty can be one, and is also something that needs to be repeatedly and vigilantly addressed in our nation. But another reason is opportunity. Despite attempts to conflate sex work with human trafficking, many people engage in sex work to their benefit, and with a desire to remain in that profession, and engage in it safely. The Ontario ruling determined that the existing laws prevented them from doing so, and what I have observed with sex workers among marginalized peoples is that indeed, the inability to communicate, the inability to control their environment and their inability to trust law enforcement does endanger them.
For this reason, I ask that the Canadian Government seek a solution that will address exploitative and unethically-influenced situations, but not through the three laws struck down in Ontario or in any way that conflates sex work with trafficking, thus further marginalizing people.
There are currently 11 different social issues you can petition your MP on. Currently, C-389 isn’t one of them, but we’ll see….