Manitoba Government News Release

Manitoba Government
Information Services

Room 29, Legislative Building
Winnipeg, Manitoba R3C 0V8

Telephone: (204) 945-3746
Fax: (204) 945-3988


May 7, 1998


Proposed amendments to the Highway Traffic Act would require police to seize vehicles being used for offences related to prostitution, Justice Minister Vic Toews announced today.

If there is a conviction as a result of criminal proceedings, the vehicle or security on the vehicle would be forfeited. The proceeds would be used to fund programs aimed at reducing the incidence of prostitution and to defray the costs of seizing and storing the vehicle.

"Prostitution is a blight on our neighbourhoods and exploits young people and children," said the minister. "This legislation provides an additional serious consequence to those who would take part in this exploitation. If found guilty they will lose their vehicles in addition to the criminal consequences."

Police would be authorized to release a seized vehicle if it has been stolen or if the occupants agree to participate in "johns school". To qualify for johns school, the accused must have no prior record involving prostitution, sign a contract admitting guilt and agree to attend and successfully complete the course. Those who attend the course will not face criminal charges.

Under the proposals, an application could be made for the release of the vehicle while a case is proceeding through the criminal courts, if the accused provides a security deposit equal to the value of the vehicle. The act also outlines provisions to deal with vehicles of low value.

The act would also ensure innocent owners could get their vehicles back. Vehicle owners who were not charged with a prostitution offence, did not give consent for the use of their vehicle or who could not have reasonably known that the vehicle was going to be used in the commission of a prostitution offence could apply to a magistrate for release of their vehicles.

Funds recovered from the seizure of vehicles would help fund programs that help prostitutes get off the street.

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[Gov. Reports]

Created: November 13, 1998
Last modified: November 13, 1998

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