Prostitution Should Be Legal; Supreme Court Decision Correct; Bill C-36 Wrong - Majority

| Filed under: National, Social Issues

One twentieth claim to have engaged prostitute

TORONTO JUNE 15th, 2014 – In a random sampling of public opinion taken by the Forum Poll™ among 1433 Canadians 18 years of age and older, more than half said prostitution should be legal (54%), compared to just one third who say it should not be (34%). One tenth have no opinion (12%). Approval of legalized prostitution is common to Gen Y (35 to 44 - 60%), Boomers (55 to 64 - 58%), males (66%), the wealthiest (68%), in Alberta (64%) and BC (62%), among Liberals (63%) and New Democrats (60%), the best educated (post grad - 59%), among non-Christians (60%) and the non-religious (59%), among those with children (59%) but not among mothers (44%).

Two thirds agree living off the avails should be illegal

Living off the earnings of another who is engaged in prostitution is not seen to be acceptable, and two thirds think it should be illegal (67%). One fifth think it should be allowed (21%) and one tenth haven't formed an opinion (12%).

One half approve Supreme Court striking down prostitution laws

One half of Canadian voters approve of the Supreme Court's action in striking down all of Canada's prostitution laws (51%), while just more than a quarter disapprove (28%). As many as one fifth can't make up their minds (21%). Approval is highest among the youngest (60%), males (62%), mid income groups ($60K to $80K - 58%) and the wealthiest (58%) in Atlantic Canada (55%) but not in Alberta (45%), among Liberals (59%) and New Democrats (57%), but not Conservatives (38%), among the best educated (post grad - 59%) and the non-religious (59%).

One half disapprove of Bill C-36

When the key provisions of Bill C-36 are explained to them (paying and advertising for prostitution become illegal), one half disapprove (51%), while just one third approve (34%). One seventh don't have an opinion (15%). Disapproval for Bill C-36 mirrors approval of the Supreme Court's action in striking the previous law down.

Most say prostitution shouldn't be in Criminal Code

Close to one half say the Criminal Code should not deal with prostitution (46%), while 3-in-10 think the code should apply (30%). As many as one quarter have no opinion on this measure (24%).

1-in-20 admit to engaging prostitute

One twentieth of Canadian adults claim to have engaged the services of a prostitute (5%) and these are all males (10%) and primarily in the lower income group ($20K to $40K - 10%) and in BC (9%). Incidence also appears to be higher among past Green Party voters (13%) and non-Christians (9%). In fact, in addition to the 1-in-20 who claim to have used a prostitute, a further one tenth prefer not to answer (10%), and a portion of these must be assumed to have engaged in this behaviour. Therefore, based on a Canadian adult population of about 25 million, as many as 1.5 million or more (primarily males) may have paid for sex.

It is, as we all know, the oldest profession, so it should be no surprise that it's thriving in Canada. What is perhaps more surprising is that those who have engaged in behaviour which, until now, has been illegal, are willing to admit it," said Forum Research President, Dr. Lorne Bozinoff.

Lorne Bozinoff, Ph.D. is the president and founder of Forum Research. He can be reached at or at (416) 960-9603.