Wednesday, April 29, 2009


Oldtown News
Vancouver, BC


In the latest rant by the getting-creepier-by-the-day Courier reporter, the rabid Mark Hasiuk really goes way out there in his zeal to villainize sex trade workers and their advocates who favour law reform and a harm-reduction approach to address the violence which sex trade workers face in Vancouver.

Mr Hasiuk it seems is continually writing on this topic for some reason. He seems fixated although fixation is not that unusual for someone who is tormented and perhaps even views prostitution from a religious faith-based perspective which of course from what history has shown us makes sex workers susceptible to serial killers.

Hasiuk waxes on about investigative reporter for W5, Victor Malarek who recently stopped off in Vancouver to support the Rape Relief group. Mr Malarek is the modern-day Shame the Johns/Shame the Prostitutes lobby. Hasiuk also promotes Sheila Jeffries in his article, an extreme feminist scholar who denounces plastic surgeons as committing violence on women.

Hasiuk paints these two individuals as 'International experts' on prostitution and in order to de-humanize those with extensive prostitution knowledge he reduces our experiences and lives to the role of villains.

Or as Hasiuk and Malarek call us the 'Happy Hooker Lobby'. Well I must admit I'm very happy to be a happy hooker lobby if this means fighting to keep sex trade workers safe and free of harm from creepy men. I'll wear this badge with honour.

While I'm there on the subject of creepiness, it seems Mr Hasiuk has really muddled things in his mind because isn't it Willy Pickton and other killers who are the real villains?

But I digress.

Mr Hasiuk articulates that politicians and media know nothing about prostitution and in this supposed vacuum sex trade worker advocates are able to frame the political discussion regarding safety for sex providers. He singles out both myself and feminist-lesbian Esther Shannon for his wrath calling us the local chapter of the happy hooker lobby.

Further, in Mr Hasiuk's attempt to get back at those he blames responsible for his expulsion from a private sex trade round-table a few months back, where he acted very aggressively, he once again uses his position at the Courier to spin his nonsense.

This time though he uses those running for political office to make it appear that he has no axe to grind.

Interesting, Mr Hasiuk contacted four Green candidates, Doug Warkentin, Vanessa Violini, John Boychuk and Jodie Emery to find out their positions on prostitution. He claims that no Liberal or NDP candidates returned calls for his story.

Oh I'm sure that in the heat of an election, eight candidates looking for scant press coverage decided not to return a reporters calls. Funny how Mr Hasiuk wants us the readers to believe that eight candidates did not return his calls.

So why did Mr Hasiuk as I am alleging only contact Green candidates for a story on prostitution? Well I'll let my readers form their own opinions on that front. I'm sure it had nothing to do with my association with the Green Party right Mark? Oh silly me of course your story asked those Green candidates whether their opinions were formed by any association with me. Silly me. Guilty as charged.

Prostitution has no connection to provincial politics. It is clearly a Federal and City matter. The federal government makes changes to the criminal code and the City licences prostitution. So why Mr Hasiuk focused on provincial politicians is interesting.

Mr Hasiuk claims that his friends Victor Malarek and Sheila Jeffries are international experts and those with thirty plus years working alongside other sex workers are mere 'activists'. Hasiuk goes on to obscenely state that politicians and media blindly accept activists facts as fiction.

Nice tale spinning there Mark but there is no fiction here and the facts glaringly speak for themselves.

Twenty-six women murdered, chopped up and fed to pigs by a madman. Another fifty Downtown Eastside women are sadistically tortured by an out-of-control serial sadist and of course another fact is that since 1985 over one hundred sex trade workers have been murdered in Vancouver.

So please spare us your fabrications Mr Hasiuk.

Criminalizing the sex trade has created horrible conditions and placed sex trade workers at extreme risk of violence. Criminalizing prostitution has created killing fields here in Vancouver and you and your international expert friends and their lobbying for prohibition/abolition only serves to further victimize sex trade workers. This stance does nothing to save lives or reduce harm.

Whatever it is that torments you on this subject Mr Hasiuk is really quite sad. Ditto for Mr Malarek and Ms Jeffries.

Thankfully, Vancouver has tolerant, progressive attitudes and if you desire extremism may I suggest moving to Red Deer Mr Hasiuk. I'm sure you won't have any problem finding a welcoming home for your screwy, obscene, intolerant and messed-up views.

Jamie Lee Hamilton