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The protection of whose communities? : A comparative municipal case study of sex work bylaws & their enforcement in the wake of Bill C-36

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posted on 09.08.2022, 21:49 authored by Evangeline Holtz-Schramek

 This Major Research Project (MRP) concerns the enforcement of licensed indoor sex work bylaws in Canada through a comparative analysis of two municipalities: Toronto, ON and Vancouver, BC. My MRP asserts that, in spite of the continued criminalization of many aspects of sex work at the federal level in light of the passing of Bill C-36, The Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act, in 2014, some municipalities in Canada have continued to condone sex work through their bylaws and enforcement mechanisms. My research finds that while there are similarities between the bylaws themselves in these two jurisdictions, the primary difference between the two cases is as a result of enforcement practices. I assert that Vancouver’s adoption of GBA+ and intersectional-informed femocratic administrative tools at the municipal governmental level is one of the primary drivers leading to the outcome of some licensed indoor sex workers in Vancouver being able to work with greater respect and less harassment than licensed indoor sex workers in Toronto. However, while aspects of Vancouver’s approach demonstrate some positive developments that correlate to benefits for some of its city’s sex workers, the findings of my MRP reveal that Canada’s two largest Anglophone cities both have a lot of work to do to better support and protect some of their most vulnerable workers.





Master of Arts


Public Policy and Administration

Granting Institution

Ryerson University

LAC Thesis Type


Thesis Advisor

Tracey Raney Emily van der Meulen