OTTAWA -- Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Friday he and all Canadians are feeling both horror and revulsion as they watch the Robert "Willie" Pickton murder trial unfold in B.C., but he said the case does not convince him Canada needs to legalize prostitution.
The New Democratic Party, citing evidence presented before a parliamentary committee that reported its findings last month, called on Parliament at the start of Pickton's trial Monday to consider decriminalizing the sex trade.
"In terms of the events that are on trial in the Pickton trial, I think all Canadians experience just unbelievable horror and outrage at the acts that have been committed. And I don't think there's a person in this country (who) cannot react with extreme revulsion to the events that are on trial there," Harper said at a news conference.
"In terms of legalization of prostitution I can just tell you that obviously that's something that this government doesn't favour. I think that's a separate debate."
Pickton is on trial in New Westminster, B.C. for six of the 26 counts of murder in connection with women, mostly drug-addicted prostitutes, who went missing from Vancouver's Downtown Eastside. His trial on the other 20 counts will take place at a later date.
NDP House leader Libby Davies, whose Vancouver East riding includes the Downtown Eastside, issued a statement Monday saying sex-trade workers are endangered by Canada's law prohibiting communication for the purposes of engaging in prostitution.
And this is exactly one of the reasons I voted Conservative. If I've said it once, I've said it a thousand times: decriminalizing and regulating prostitution is a really bad idea. It will not solve anything and only make matters worse.