Friday, March 24, 2006



Posted below is an article appearing in the Calgary Sun. The City of Calgary is considering scrapping their escort license. If they do this, where do they expect sex workers to go? Of course, sex trade workers would wind up on the street, which places them In Harms Way. I sure hope Vancouver doesn't chart this path. Its long overdue that all levels of government get a grip on reality. Prostitution has been with us forever and is not going away. Isn't it time we acknowlege this and properly manage our indoor and outdoor prostitution trade -- Jamie Lee

March 24, 2006

Escort law may get hook
Bylaw review comes after court says licence could sanction prostitution

Calgary's escort licence bylaw must be changed to ensure it is not misconstrued as a permit for prostitution, say city officials.

The bylaw overhaul follows a Crown decision not to appeal a recent court ruling which found the current rule too vague -- and Mayor Dave Bronconnier said it's now up to the city to clarify the escort licence, or get out of the business altogether.

"The law department is reviewing the bylaw right now -- it will then be up to city council whether we rewrite the bylaw to be consistent with the decision, or whether we leave it as it stands and see if there's another challenge," said Bronconnier, adding aldermen may choose to scrap the licence. "Maybe it's not even appropriate to keep it any longer at all."

Last month, a Queen's Bench judge cleared a man of 11 charges, saying the city licence issued to escort agency operator Douglas Eastaugh could be interpreted as a sanction to sell sex.

The Crown's decision not to appeal places the existing city bylaw -- which is intended to help police monitor escort safety -- means future prostitution cases could be in jeopardy.

Ald. Diane Colley-Urquhart, chair of the city's License Appeal Board, wants a complete review of the escort licensing process, to determine whether the city should issue permits to the industry.

"I'm pleased that the Crown is not appealing the court decision -- now, once and for all, we need a sweeping bylaw review of this area," said Colley-Urquhart. "Licensing prostitution is not a business the city should be in."

The city currently licenses 11 escort agencies and roughly 100 escort-agency workers, collecting just under $50,000 a year, which is then spent on police inspections of the trade.

One suggestion being considered by city officials is a new clause in the current licence form, asking for a declaration of understanding from the application that the licence is not an endorsement of illegal activity.