BY NEAL HALL, VANCOUVER SUN MARCH 17, 2012
BY SUZANNE FOURNIER, THE PROVINCE FEBRUARY 29, 2012
Move followed announcement of ‘pattern’ in homicides
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.
Ottawa police refuse request for moratorium on sweeps while they probe possible predator
Six community groups are seeking legal advice after Ottawa police Chief Vern White last week refused their request for a moratorium on prostitution sweeps.
“We asked Chief Vern White to prioritize women’s safety by putting the risk to the lives of sex workers over nuisance complaints during a time which he has identified poses heightened risk to sex workers,” said Bryonie Baxter, executive director of the Elizabeth Fry Society of Ottawa, in a press release. “We are effectively asking the police to take one operational tool out of their toolbox and we in turn offered to work with police and concerned citizens to effect longer-term solutions to their concerns.”
On Tuesday, Insp. Uday Jaswal told CBC News the police force can’t choose which laws to enforce and which laws to ignore. Jaswal said prostitution sweeps will continue and he added that police remain committed to discussing the issue.
In a meeting with police on Feb. 8, Baxter said the group argued that sweeps put sex workers at risk by forcing them into more remote areas away from circles of support.
Their request came two months after White issued a warning that police had discovered a pattern in unsolved assaults and homicides on sex workers in Ottawa.
“We believe the Ottawa police owe a duty of care to sex workers which extends beyond merely warning them about the existence of a predator,” Baxter said. “It also involves proactively working to eliminate practices which increase the risk of harm to this group of women.”
The six groups include the Elizabeth Fry Society of Ottawa, the Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies, POWER (Prostitutes of Ottawa-Gatineau Work, Educate, Resist), the Sexual Assault Support Centre of Ottawa (SASC), Families of Sisters in Spirit and the AIDS Committee of Ottawa.
BY RYAN CORMIER, EDMONTONJOURNAL.COM FEBRUARY 10, 2012
Olden Yadir Maldonado, 29, was convicted in January of two counts of sexual assault causing bodily harm, three counts of unlawful confinement, two counts of threats to cause death and sexual assault.
Yesterday was the culmination of a pretty amazing journey for me. I sat in the front row at the Supreme Court of Canada as the as the federal government tried to persuade the country’s top court that Sheri Kiselbach, a former sex worker with 30 years of experience and Sex Workers United Against Violence (SWUAV), a non-profit organization run by and for street-based sex workers in the Downtown Eastside, do not have standing to challenge the laws related to adult prostitution because they are not directly affected. Among the people sitting with me wereSheri and DJ. DJ is a member of SWUAV and has been involved with Pivot since we first started looking at the issue of sex workers’ safety ten years ago.
All Sheila Farmer was trying to do was guarantee the safety of her and fellow consensual sex workers from violence, rape and robbery, that she was prosecuted is a national disgrace…
It was January 3rd, 2012. Stepping over the broken-winged corpses of umbrellas on Croydon’s pavements, a rain-drenched, gale-battered group of approximately thirty supporters, myself included, approached the Crown Court to witness the conclusion to a landmark case.
PHOTO BY JOHN BONNAR
As the Missing Women’s Inquiry continues, sex workers and supporters lit candles on the steps of a police detachment yesterday, part of a global day of action.
Protest draws attention to recent violence against prostitutes
Ottawa-based sex workers and their allies called for an end to prostitution sweeps Saturday during a protest held on Parliament Hill.
About 50 people participated in the protest, which took place just more than a week after Ottawa police chief Vern White issued an unprecedented public safety warning to women after police investigators discovered a pattern in homicides among city prostitutes.