The Justice Department says a majority of people who responded to an online survey earlier this year felt that purchasing sexual services should be a criminal offence.
However, two-thirds of the respondents said selling sexual services should not be an offence.
A majority also said that benefiting economically from the prostitution of an adult should be illegal.
Respondents who felt prostitution should be legal did support restrictions, including regular medical testing and a system of regulation, taxation and licensing.
The Canadian Press obtained a copy of the survey, which was conducted between Feb. 17 and March 17 and attracted more than 31,000 responses.
It was commissioned after the Supreme Court of Canada struck down three key sections of the prostitution law in December.