Friday, September 17, 2004

OH INDEED I MUST GLOAT

Hi Friends!

Oh Indeed I must Gloat

As you know I have been a passionate advocate for some time now on the sex trade issue.
Recently, XtraWest, the organizationally and gay owned newspaper that prints in Ottawa, Toronto and Vancouver has been attempting to change the bawdy house section of the criminal code. Interestingly, XtraWest said in its calls to remove the bawdy house section of the criminal code that they wanted the law to stay as it was in relation to prostitution. They felt there was safety and more complex health issues around prostitution that needed to be examined. But they wanted the indecency section to be re-moved as they felt it criminalizes their sex acts in public places. In fact, continuously for a year they have been running an online petition and getting nowhere.

Well one week ago, myself and six other prominent advocates for prostitution law reform met with Federal Cabinet Ministers Stephen Owen and Claudette Bradshaw. Our mission was to inform them how the bawdy house and communicating laws has hurt sex trade workers. In fact, Ministers Owen and Bradshaw agreed to get a ruling to us in 30 days on whether our prostitution laws were constitutional.

As many of you are aware, in the latest three issues of the Vancouver Sun paper, they also recognize the need to address prostitution safety and are calling for the reform of our prostitution laws.

Here is where I must gloat. XtraWest paper, who you might think would be progressive on issues relating to the sex trade, instead promoted a regressive policy against sex trade workers. And little ole me, as a marginal sex worker managed to get a meeting with two top ranking cabinet ministers where I was able to inform them how the current laws place sex workers in harm's way. Please see my new website http://www.changethecode.net/ for information on this issue.

These important ministers agreed with my analysis that a parliamentary committee as NDP MP Libby Davies was calling for, wasn't necessary. All we really need is a ruling from the Justice Department on whether the prostitution law is unconstitutional.

So folks there you have it. In the battle betwen David and Goliath, I came out on top!

Who said, the little guy can't make a difference!

Are you wondering as I was, why the Xtra newspaper group would do this to sex trade workers?

Well the Xtra newspaper group is in the sex business and its better for them financially, if sex trade workers are marginalized or criminalized. In fact, any criminal organization thrives and profits if social issues such as prostitution or marijuana are deemed illegal. It was the same situation as alcohol prohibition.

It must be noted that in the latest Sept 16, 2004 edition of XtraWest, the editor-in-chied Gareth Kirkeby was extolling the virtues of the 24 hour supermarket that is located in the Davie Village area. As we know, that supermarket is owned by an organization that the police claim are the number one menace to our society. I haven't known this group to be friends of the gay community and it was perplexng why XtraWest would promote this business.

Perhaps criminal organizations stick together. Maybe this is why, XtraWest, Xtra Capitol and Xtra like pigeons flying above like to take a crap on us now and then.

Go figure!

Jamie Lee Hamilton
(604) 781-3361
tricia_foxx@yahoo.com

BIG LIES AND BIGGER DISTORTIONS

Underbelly of Vancouver
Downtown Eastside

Hi Friends!


As you know the No Wards or Wards debates have been launched. Already supporters of wards are telling lies in order to get people to vote yes.

The latest lie comes out of an article written Sept 16, 2004, by gay reporter Jeremy Hainsworth for Gay paper, XtraWest.

In the article, Kennedy Stewart, the Vancouver Centre NDP candidate in the last federal election, claims that the US supreme court in 1973, struck down the at-large system as being unconstitutional. In fact, Mr Kennedy should have said that the US Supreme court in 1973, struck down multi-member wards as unconstitutional.

The reporter Jeremy Hainsworth in his zeal to paint a picture of civil liberities violations and at-large being discriminatory against minorities, recklessly forgot to check his facts as any smart reporter would have done. Instead he quoted Prof Kennedy Stewart's press release verbatim.

Also it should be noted that the XtraWest editor-in-chief, Gareth Kirkeby also didn't check his reporter's story. Any good editor would do this to ensure facts in a story are in fact, accurate. Tsk Tsk Gareth and Jeremy.

The next distortion comes out of well respected Little Sisters owner Jim Deva's mouth. Mr Deva in the same story claims the gay community will lose in an at-large system. He says that more gay community members would be elected in ward elections.

So here is some factual research.

Federal and provincial elections are ward elections. Currently out of 308 ward seats across Canada, there are only three gay politicians elected. They are Real Menard,Libby Davies and Bill Siksay. Provincially across BC we have 75 ward seats. Currently there is only 1 gay politician elected. This is Lorne Mayencourt.

Now we must look to municipal at-large elections. Currently out of 10 politician elected to city council, we have 2 gay city councilors. They are Tim Stevenson and Ellen Woodsworth.

Then if you re-view the 96-99 Vancouver council, we had three (3) gay politicians elected out of 10. They included city councilors Gordon Price, Alan Herbert and bisexual Nancy Chiavario.

Next up, the Vancouver park board. In the 1996 civic at-large election, elected to seven park board seats were two gay and one lesbian park commissioners. They were Duncan Wilson, Alan Featherstonhaugh and Laura McDiarmid.

And if you look at who comprized the 1999 park board, again elected were 3 (three) gay commissioners out of 7. They were Duncan Wilson, Laura McDiarmid and bisexual Roslyn Cassells. So Mr Deva who I greatly admire must check his facts if he's going to espouse that wards will improve representation for the gay community.

All these big lies and bigger distortions. It will be fun exposing the misrepresentation of facts coming from the yes side in the wards or not debate.

Please remember Know the facts before voting. Check www.knowards.ca for the truth.

Cheers,


Jamie Lee Hamilton
(604) 781-3361
tricia_foxx@yahoo.com