Thursday, November 06, 2008


Oldtown News
Vancouver, BC

November 6, 2008


Last night at the Xtrawest hosted mayoral debate, park board hopeful Jamie Lee Hamilton raised the issue of sex trade workers in 1982 being harmed by an act of Council.

Ms Hamilton is working as a research assistant on a project, the Expulsion of Sex Workers 1975-1985 from Vancouver's West End. This project is led by Dr Becki Ross and funded by UBC.

The Council of the day along with then Mayor Mike Harcourt brought in the street activities by-law which began fining prostitutes. In the first six months of its implementation, the city brought in $28,000 in fines.

Along with these fines and other harsh city-imposed actions, sex trade workers endured significant human rights abuses which culminated in their mass evictions from the West End in 1984.

July, 2009 will mark the 25th anniversary of these civil liberties violations.

Ms Hamilton asked mayoral hopefuls Mr Gregor Robertson and Councillor Peter Ladner last night on the public record, if they become Mayor on November 15, whether they would be willing to address this historical wrong by offering a Mayoral apology.

Mr Gregor Robertson stated he favours apologies of this nature because they assist in community reconciliation. He went on to say that he would look favorably to resolving this outstanding blight on the City's landscape.

In contrast, Councillor Pter Ladner questioned whether this would be helpful and further stated he didn't know this had happened and so he would not entertain the idea of an apology.

Harm associated with the sex trade can directly be tied back to the lack of political will during the early 1980's and this of course culminated in the mass murders of countless prostitutes in Vancouver, BC.

Jamie Lee Hamilton is asking candidates running for public office if they are willing to support a municipal apology to remedy the historical wrongs from 1982 and 1984.

Jamie Lee Hamilton