It is no longer an offence in Canada to be engaged in the act of prostitution, nor is the previous charge of living on the avails of prostitution illegal. Rather, the illegality of the transaction is focussed on where the transaction takes place and the purchase of the sexual act rather than the selling of sex.
The Criminal Code makes it illegal for anyone to obtain for consideration or communicate for the purpose of obtaining a sexual act for consideration. It is necessary that the communication be done "in any place". A strict analysis of the definition of a place would include any area in the country, and as a result, in any transaction where a sexual service is being exchanged, the buyer would technically be criminally liable, not the person offering the sexual service.
It is also illegal for a person to receive a financial or material benefit from a transaction involving the exchange of a sexual service for consideration. There are exceptions listed in the Criminal Code which cover situations where persons are engaged in a legitimate living arrangement (husband/wife), is legally or morally dependent on the seller of the sexual service (children), and where the benefit is in exchange for properly offered services (employee/contractor).
It is similarly illegal to procure an individual to offer or provide any sexual services which would be illegal to obtain.
The penalties for obtaining sexual services for consideration or for benefitting from such action are dependent on the specific nature of the action and the background of the offender. There are minimum penalties which range from a $500 fine to 2 years in custody and maximum penalties that range from 6 months to 14 years in custody.