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Solicitation Subcommittee to reconvene

A motion in the House of Commons to reconstitute the federal Subcommittee on Solicitation Laws passed Jun 6. Now the challenge is getting everyone to the table before Parliament breaks for summer on Jun 23.

“The problem may be the Conservatives naming their members,” says Vancouver East NDP MP Libby Davies. It is uncertain whether the Conservatives will reappoint Art Hanger, now the Justice Committee chair, to the subcommittee.

“I found him quite difficult to deal with,” says Davies, due to his hard-line approach to law and order. However, she adds, “Mr. Hanger is the only one who heard the testimony.”

Davies, Liberals John Maloney and Hedy Fry, and Bloc Quebecois MP Real Menard, who all sat on the subcommittee before it was dissolved before the last federal election, have been reappointed. But if the Tory members are not confirmed before summer, the subcommittee won’t meet until September.

The subcommittee was first struck in November of 2004 to review Canada’s sex laws, particularly those that criminalize prostitution. It hasn’t met since November of 2005, before a non-confidence motion toppled the existing Liberal government.

Its report, which hasn’t been completed, has been in limbo ever since.

The motion reconvening the subcommittee provides that it must report to the Justice Committee by Dec 8.