Tag Archive | POWER

Prostitution sweeps on hold since December

Move followed announcement of ‘pattern’ in homicides

BY ZEV SINGER, OTTAWA CITIZEN FEBRUARY 16, 2012

Ottawa police have not conducted any prostitution sweeps since Chief Vern White’s announced in December that a “pattern” had been identified in a number of unsolved murders of prostitutes.

Since Dec. 9, when White warned the city’s sex workers to take precautions because of a potential threat – police have been loath to use the word “serial killer,” but the link between killings is ominous – advocacy groups have been calling for a moratorium on prostitution sweeps.

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Q&A with Lindsay, a sex worker and Human Library participant

By Victoria Abraham

Lindsay is a sex worker who participated as a Book in the Human Library project put on by the Ottawa Public Library, the Canadian War Museum, and CBC Ottawa on Saturday, January 28.  Lindsay is currently working on an undergraduate degree in Women’s Studies at the University of Ottawa and holds an undergraduate degree in archeology and the classics from Wilfrid Laurier University. 

Why did you choose to be part of the Human Library project?
I am big on breaking stereotypes. Anything that I can do to change people’s minds [about stereotypes] is moving in the right direction.

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Sex workers’ rights organizing

Greg MacDougall interviews sex workers rights advocates at the 2011 Women’s World conference. Interview with Chris Bruckert, Frédérique Chabot and Tuulia Law — of POWER, Students for Sex Worker Rights, and Sex Professionals of Canada. At Women’s Worlds 2011 conference in Ottawa, July 7. http://womensworlds.ca

Going Dutch

An appeal court decision expected early next year could decriminalize prostitution in Canada, putting us on par with the Netherlands. Experts there say it’s the best way to protect women, but officials in Sweden, where they have a zero-tolerance policy, say it would be a big mistake. Claire Tremblay looks at the two approaches to see what Canada can learn

 By Claire Tremblay, Ottawa Citizen December 3, 2011

Det.-Insp. Kajsa Wahlberg, a middle-aged woman with short blond hair, exudes an air of policing officialdom. As Sweden’s National Rapporteur on Human Trafficking, the seasoned police inspector has witnessed human trafficking at its worst. From lone pimps exploiting teen girls and seducing them with promises of love, to complex crime syndicates that drag drugged women en masse into anonymous hotel rooms across Europe, Wahlberg has seen it all.

And as the Ontario Court of Appeal considers a case that could see prostitution decriminalized in this country, she has a warning for Canada: Do so at your own peril.

Expect prostitution to skyrocket, she says. Expect drugs, crime and human trafficking to soar.

“If Canada adopts a model of decriminalizing sex buyers, prostitution will explode. It will become like the Netherlands,” says Wahlberg. “The sex buyers will require more and different types of weirdo sex and new varieties and services. It would be a big mistake.”

The court case that so alarms Wahlberg is Bedford v. Canada, the September 2010 Ontario Court of Justice case where sex workers Terri-Jean Bedford, Amy Leibovitch and Valerie Scott took the federal government to court over Canada’s sex laws – and won.

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Ottawa sex workers rights organization wins award

An Ottawa-based activist organization that works with sex workers has won an Ontario HIV Treatment Network (OHTN) award for a resource kit it created to look at issues facing sex workers in Ottawa and Gatineau.Representatives from Prostitutes of Ottawa-Gatineau, Work, Educate and Resist (POWER) will be presented with the Jay Browne Living Legacy Award on Nov 15 at OHTN’s annual conference in Toronto.Frédérique Chabot from POWER learned about the award on Nov 3.

“This is such a prestigious award — an award I thought a group like POWER could never win,” she says.

Lara Purvis (left) and Frédérique Chabot hold POWER’s banner.
(Noreen Fagan)

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