Border states fret over Ontario brothels

April 10, 2012 at 1:55 PM

FORT ERIE, Ontario, April 10 (UPI) -- U.S. states bordering the Canadian province of Ontario are concerned with a legal ruling they wrongly fear has decriminalized brothels.

Two weeks ago, a five-judge panel with the Ontario Court of Appeal ruled some wording in Canada's federal laws governing prostitution was unconstitutional, prompting many Canadian media and some U.S. outlets to report brothels were, or would become, legal.

The ruling gave the federal government two options to deal with clarification -- appeal the ruling to the Supreme Court or amend the wording of the law within a year.

As the Globe and Mail reported March 27, "The brothel ruling takes effect in a year."

Regardless, The Buffalo (N.Y.) News reported talks were already being held across the border in Niagara Falls and Fort Erie to add brothel facilities to casinos and strip clubs.

Tim Lambrinos, executive director of the Adult Entertainment Association of Canada, told the News he sees the ruling as a way to legally expand existing entertainment businesses.

"Why not work with the legitimate owners who have liquor licenses and who have invested thousands and thousands [of dollars] into their buildings?" he asked.

Conservative federal officials have said little about their plans with regard to the brothel issue, but part of their budget released last month includes sweeping anti-crime reform measures that increase prison sentences.

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