Tag Archive | news

Pickton victim’s mom did her own detective work

Lynn Frey after her testimony at the Missing Women Inquiry yesterday. She recalled how she did her own investigation to search for stepdaughter Marnie, who went missing in 1997.
“They just didn’t give a damn.”That’s what Lynn Frey said she felt when she sought the help of the RCMP and the Vancouver police after she reported her stepdaughter Marnie’s disappearance in 1997.Marnie was one of dozens of women who ended up at Robert Pickton’s pig farm in Port Coquitlam. Pickton, 62, is serving a life sentence for the murder of six, including Marnie Frey.

Prostitution ‘tolerance zones’ reflected aims of law, Pickton inquiry told

Women sing and chant outside of the missing women inquiry in downtown Vancouver, Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2011. Commissioner Wally Oppal has opened hearings to examine why police failed to stop Robert Pickton as he murdered impoverished sex workers from Vancouver's Downtown Eastside. - Women sing and chant outside of the missing women inquiry in downtown Vancouver, Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2011. Commissioner Wally Oppal has opened hearings to examine why police failed to stop Robert Pickton as he murdered impoverished sex workers from Vancouver's Downtown Eastside. | Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press

by Robert Matas

Police efforts to move prostitutes out of residential neighbourhoods and into dark isolated areas of the Downtown Eastside reflected the intention of Canada’s laws on prostitution, the Pickton inquiry heard Thursday.

In cross-examination by police lawyer Tim Dickson, criminologist John Lowman told the inquiry that the current law on prostitution, upheld by the Supreme Court of Canada in 1990, was intended to make prostitution less visible. Residents objected to the activity on their street. The police responded by pushing women to other neighbourhoods.

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Why anti-john laws don’t work

A young woman works the corner of Gerrard and Jarvis Streets. (Oct. 21, 2009)

The Ontario Court of Appeal is due to release its decision on the constitutionality of Canada’s criminal laws around adult prostitution. Last year, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice struck down these laws, finding that they significantly contribute to danger for sex workers. If the current laws are unconstitutional, what comes next for the regulation of prostitution in Canada?

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Anti-prostitution laws targeted at Pickton inquiry, not failed police probe

VANCOUVER – Canada’s prostitution laws have quickly become the focus of the public inquiry into the Robert Pickton case, not the police investigation that failed for years to catch the serial killer.

Yet another witness Tuesday questioned the wisdom of making sex work a crime.

Kate Shannon echoed earlier testimony that the law and the police officers who enforce it have made life more dangerous for the poor, drug-addicted prostitutes in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, where Pickton hunted for his victims until he was arrested in 2002.

Shannon, a researcher with the B.C. Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS, said police tactics designed to enforce the law push sex workers into dangerously isolated areas, which significantly increases the risks they face.

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