By Thaddeus M. Baklinski

VANCOUVER, December 18, 2007 ( – A group calling itself the B.C. Coalition of Experiential Communities hopes the federal government will grant them a legal exemption from 
prostitution laws so they can open a brothel in Vancouver’s east side in time for the Winter Olympics.

Susan Davis, spokeswoman for the group, says they have the support of both Liberal MP Libby Davies and Vancouver mayor Sam Sullivan. Hedy Fry, Member of Parliament for Vancouver Centre, denied involvement in the project in a letter to the editor of the Vancouver Sun on November 20th.

“Workers and sports enthusiasts will be pouring into the city and will want to buy sex. Just like the workers are coming from all over the world to build the city, sex workers are coming with them,” Davis said.

The co-op brothel would include “quickie rooms” accessible to prostitutes and their clients and would be “a worker-controlled safe space to conduct sex work,” according to the report.

A group of anti-prostitution activists including Daisy Kler of the Vancouver Rape Relief and Women’s Shelter is supporting a campaign asking people to call, fax or e-mail concerns to Mayor Sullivan’s office.

“The city thinks that foreign tourists should be entitled to women’s bodies as part of their tourist package. And obviously we’re going to object to that and we’re not going to stand for it in our name,” Kler said in a Vancouver Sun report.

“In countries where brothels have been decriminalized, the sex industry—both legal and illegal, indoor and on the street—has increased exponentially,” she explained. “This has, in turn, led to increased trafficking and child exploitation.”

Kler also expressed her concern that a legal brothel would do little to help street-level, drug-addicted sex workers. “Those women would not be the ones to be showcased in this brothel,” she said.

Gregory Carlin of the Irish Anti-Trafficking Coalition told that the theory (of legalizing prostitution) just doesn’t work. “No model of ‘prostitution management’, not in Europe, Australia, or New Zealand  has ever migrated street prostitution into a viable off-street or brothel model. That is simply not the way prostitution works.”

To voice concerns to Vancouver Mayor Sam Sullivan:
Phone: 604-873-7011
Mailing address: 453 West 12th Avenue, Vancouver, BC, V5Y 1V4

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