Bedford, Lebovitch, and Scott
Terri-Jean Bedford, Amy Lebovitch and Valerie Scott were the three plaintiffs in the landmark constitutional challenge to three of Canada’s prostitution laws: public communication for the purposes of prostitution, operating a bawdy house and living on the avails of prostitution. The applicants argued that these laws served only to make sex work unsafe and that they were therefore unconstitutional. These laws were struck down in 2010, as a result of this challenge.
Terri-Jean Bedford has worked as a prostitute in Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary and Windsor. She has worked on the street, in a massage parlour, as an escort agency owner and, most recently, as a dominatrix – where she was charged with operating a bawdy house. She was part of the constitutional challenge to overturn Canada’s anti-prostitution laws for more than a decade.
For the last 15 years, Amy Lebovitch has worked in several different areas of sex work, including on the street, indoors, and for agencies. She currently works independently. Lebovitch is the Deputy Director of Sex Professionals of Canada, a sex worker rights organization which fights for the full decriminalization of sex work.
Valerie Scott has been a sex worker for many years. Since 1985, she has spoken at numerous parliamentary committees, universities, community organizations, and to the media, about the need for decriminalization. In 1990, she fought to overturn Canada’s anti-sex work laws at the Supreme Court of Canada. Valerie served as the Executive Director of Sex Professionals of Canada for six years, and is now its legal co-ordinator.