Wednesday, August 11, 1999

Southam Newspapers

p. A21.

Story touches premier

Clark wants to see if Alberta law can help out B.C. prostitutes

QUEBEC — The plight of a 14-year-old Calgary girl lured into prostitution in Victoria has prompted Premier Glen Clark to see if B.C. should adopt an Alberta law aimed at helping child prostitutes.

Alerted to the case yesterday by Alberta Premier Ralph Klein, Clark sent Children and Families Minister Lois Boone to Alberta on a fact-finding mission.

"He's not pleased with the situation in B.C. and they'd like to look at our law," Klein said after discussing the girl's situation with his colleague at the annual premiers' conference.

Klein plans to air the case today at the meeting in hopes of getting other provinces to agree to laws nationwide that would let authorities apprehend and detain child prostitutes for 72 hours to give parents and social workers time to persuade the child to quit life on the streets.

"I'll encourage other jurisdictions to adopt the same kind of law so if we have a case like we do in B.C., the authorities there can take that kid and return her to her parents. But they can't do that now." Alberta is the only province with such a law.

The 14-year-old girl is still in Victoria, but she is free and could return to street prostitution. Her father, a Calgary oil and gas consultant, wants her back in Alberta for treatment of an addiction to crack cocaine.

She has been named a temporary ward of the province in B.C. pending a protection hearing this month.

British Columbia is already reviewing a secure-care program for child prostitutes.

— Southam Newspapers

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Last modified: April 8, 2001
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