A witness in Ottawa’s prostitution bill hearings on Tuesday, woman’s rights advocate and former sex worker Timea Nagy was asked by Conservative MP Robert Goguen whether her freedom of expression would have been violated had she been rescued from a gang rape.
While Goguen’s question unleashed a storm of criticism, Nagy said on Wednesday she wasn’t “personally offended” by the question.
“I believe that MP Goguen’s question was awkward, but it was taken out of context,” Nagy said. “I was not personally offended… he asked if rescuing me and arresting my assaulters would have infringed on my rights and freedoms. My answer was, and is still ‘No.’
“The truth here is this: where there’s no freedom at all, freedom of expression is completely irrelevant. The very state of being forced into prositution means one’s most basic freedoms are completely stripped away.”
Nagy said she can see how the MP’s question was seen as insensitive, but said she expected tough questions and also said she has faced much harsher questions from others in the media and other MPs in the past.
“We are talking about a terrible topic,” she said. “There’s no way to sugar coat this. There’s no reason to sugar coat this.
“I came out with my statement 40 minutes before this question, and I opened the floor to questions about my rape experience… fully knowing that somebody will probably at some point, will have a tough question.”
The CBC reports that Goguen spoke with Nagy over the phone personally and tried to apologize, but that Nagy told him it was unnecessary to do so.