August 4, 1997.

103 - 2145 West Broadway
Vancouver, BC V6K 4L3

Re: Blind eye turned to prostitution indoors, says legal advocate

The Sex Workers Alliance of Vancouver (SWAV) would like to inform Mary-Frances Berry the "legal advocate" for Prostitution Alternatives Counselling Education that being an escort is ³pretty much legal² not only in Vancouver -- but everywhere in Canada, even if th escort is providing sexual services. In fact, to be arrested for not working with a City escort licence would probably be ruled unconstitutional. Only the federal government has the right to legislate morals.

Escort services and massage parlours do not consider their workers as employees but as private contractors who may or may not make their own negotiations for tips. This way the agency avoids breaking the procuring laws. Because of the laws, these businesses canıt provide benefits or take tax deductions or pay into Canada Pension.

In the past, police have visited massage parlours requesting lists of staffs names and social insurance numbers. Employers should be advised that it is illegal for an employer to give out the social insurance number of an employee to anyone other than Revenue Canada. If anyone (such as your advertising agent) provides personal information about you or your account with them to anyone, you should get a lawyer.

The police have no right to harass people working legally in the sex trade. If you are being harassed or think you are being investigated by the police contact the Sex Workers Alliance of Vancouver (SWAV) at 488-0710.

SWAV provides information about how to legally work in the sex trade as well as health information and information on sexual and skin diseases. SWAV also maintains a website at

Andrew Sorfleet
Sex Workers Alliance of Vancouver


Published letter... [SWAV Letters] [Rights Groups]

Created: August 8, 1997
Last modified: March 6, 1999
SWAV Sex Workers Alliance of Vancouver
Box 3075, Vancouver, BC V6B 3X6
Tel: +1 (604) 488-0710