Anna Terrana
MP, Vancouver East

News Release
03 April 1997

For immediate release


VANCOUVER -- Anna Terrana, the Member of Parliament for Vancouver East, today announced federal Liberal government funding for a research study that would examine the issue of The removal of the Bawdy House Act, plus other options for reforming prostitution laws and related law enforcement practices, including their impact and implications in Vancouver East. The Downtown Eastside Youth Activities Society (D.E.Y.A.S.), working in consultation with Prostitution Alternatives Counselling and Education (P.A.C.E.), the Downtown Eastside Neighbourhood Safety Office (D.E.N.S.O.), and the WISH Programme, has agreed to supervise the study. "At my February 1997 Roundtable Forum on Prostitution, I promised to act upon the views which my constituents expressed to me at the Meeting" said Terrana. "With this study I have kept my promise, and I believe this initiative will go a long way toward helping Vancouver East develop its own community solutions to concerns surrounding prostitution. I am pleased to partner with four highly-respected Vancouver East agencies, so that we can work together on behalf of our Vancouver East community."

With prostitution being a major concern in Vancouver East, there has been a renewed call in this area of the City for the creation of bawdy houses and the exploration of other options for reforming prostitution laws and related law enforcement practices. But while there has been much discussion in Vancouver East about possible measures to reduce the local negative impact of street-level prostitution and its ensuing activities, there has been limited research conducted on this matter. D.E.Y.A.S. will hire a researcher to contact local residents, community groups and agencies, schools, sex trade workers, persons who work in the criminal justice system (e.g. police, lawyers, social workers, sheriffs, etc.) and other appropriate parties, to study these issues. "D.E.Y.A.S. is looking forward to this ground-breaking initiative," said Mr. John Turvey, Executive Director of D.E.Y.A.S.. "Hopefully this project will be the first of many initiatives to involve the community in putting forth their concerns and in getting their input, so that solutions can be found to the controversial issue of prostitution."

For this research study, D.E.Y.A.S. wll work closely with P.A.C.E., the D.E.N.S.O. and the WISH Programme, three other well-respected Vancouver East community agencies. "PACE is looking forward to participating in this project, as we feel it will bring about some real solutions that are long overdue and much needed," said Ms. Mary-Frances Berry, P.A.C.E.'s Legal Advocate." "DENSO is pleased to be involved in this project," stated Ms. Deb Mearns, Co-ordinator of D.E.N.S.O.. "This project will not only bring the community together, but will bring the community together with the sex-trade workers themselves, to look for positive solutions. The process itself will be very beneficial for all involved."

Human Resources Development Canada (HRDC) has kindly provided funding for this research project. "HRDC was pleased to be a partner in this study," said Ms. Monica Lee, Project officer for HRDC. "This research project will help develop solutions on an issue of great concern to Vancouver East."

This study will examine such issues as: what are community concerns surrounding the issue of street-level prostitution and its ensuing activities (e.g. issues surrounding quality of life, morals, health, safety, crime prevention, child prostitution, poverty, sexual abuses, etc.); what are the best ways to deal with these community concerns; what are some initiatives that could reduce street-level prostitution and its ensuing activities; should or should there not be a red-light district in Vancouver East; should there be a formal process for determining the advisability of red-light districts; if there are to be red-light districts, where should they be located; who should be involved in the decision-making process of determining the location of red-light districts (e.g. residents, sex-trade workers, criminal justice system workers, politicians, academics, etc.); if there are to be red-light districts, how would they impact on, and what would the implications be for, local communities, sex-trade workers, the criminal justice system, escort agencies, and any other affected parties.

"As the MP for Vancouver East, I am pleased to have successfully accessed federal Liberal government funding for this study," concluded Terrana. "When this research study is completed, it is my hope that Vancouver East will be provided with real local solutions to concerns surrounding the issue of prostitution."

- 30 -

For more information, please contact:
Tom Esakin at 666-2662

* P.A.C.E.'s involvement is also made possible through funding provided by the B.C. Law Foundation.

Whore Wars... [Gov. Reports]

Created: July 3, 1997
Last modified: October 8, 1998

CSIS Commercial Sex Information Service
Box 3075, Vancouver, BC V6B 3X6
Tel: +1 (604) 488-0710