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Thread: C-36: irrational fears

  1. #1

    C-36: irrational fears

    Information is the core of police work. The SPVM knows quite a lot more about the sex work scene in Montreal than they are ready to admit.

    They have a strong will to combat exploitation. They’d be ready to add more resources if needed. However, I guess they feel like they are looking for a needle in a haystack. If you have an equivalent of ten officers-year and find only 30 cases are they going to add 10 others to find 20 more?

    So basically, I think they’d probably give the same diagnostic as the average merb member would. The severe cases are concentrated in one main area: gangs and lonely pimps around the Centres jeunesse. Narcoprostitution is one specific social problem very well looked after by them.

    Otherwise, the issue of people controlling others, well it’s day to day life, probably even more so within a police structure. We have to presume that people are able to defend themselves. Sex workers are among those freer to move among us. They’ll get a job elsewhere within a day.

    Are they going to put listening devices in their homes to make sure their boyfriends do not manipulate them into cooking the evening‘s diner? They are looking for people controlling others. They have problems finding some even in street prostitution where there are no pimps anymore.

    Fifteen years ago, it seems quite clear that the Québec’s public prosecutor and the police forces have decided to stop prosecuting incall. There were more than 100 brothel accusations each year at that time. Today, it’s down to less than 10. This helped, I’m quite sure, the growth of the massage parlors, where, I’d say, around 40% of sex workers work today. During the same period, street prostitution diminished quite a lot. So it’s a win/win situation for LE: less complaints about street prostitution and more secure places to work for the sex workers.

    There is just simply no way the SPVM would see things otherwise in a city the size of Montreal with the size of it’s sex sector. If it aint broke don’t fix it. This is why the SPVM has made it’s clear policy statement yesterday: BUSINESS AS USUAL.

    The next few months will probably be difficult in Montreal because of some anxiety. How am I going to advertise? I’m I going to provide some client info? I’m I at risk of arrest? And many more questions.

    Well, I’d give one simple answer to that. Put yourself in the shoes of the SPVM. They have a much improved sex scene now compared to 15 years ago. Do you seriously think they’ll start throwing grenades everywhere with the unpredictable consequences? That would be suicidal.

    The only way the SPVM is to do a better job is to get better at information gathering. And the only way to achieve that is by talking to people. You don’t do that by throwing grenades. Prostitution is a network of actors with complex interactions: providers, clients, intermediaries, LE, lawyers, judges, sex worker organizations, healthcare providers, rescuers, researchers, city planners, neighborhood communities. LE may be the actor with the most influence but it's ability remains weak. Planning operations for them presupposes foreseeing the outcomes. They are hard to predict. One is predictable however: going after the clients would break an equilibrium that has improved quite a lot in the last 15 years.

    They cannot say it the way I did because LE cannot admit publicly that the prostitution scene has improved.

    The ONLY unpredictable factor that may seriously affect the sex industry in the next few months is the client’s reaction: the fear factor.

    The reason I made this post is to say: THAT FEAR IS IRRATIONAL.

  2. #2
    I agree entirely. People just cannot deal with the unknown or the unexpected without a lot of time and data for comparables. And they are overly biased by a few sensationalist outliers in the data they see. No matter how many times the frequent U.S. posters detail in the Vegas thread how to successfully see a provider there at the high $300 - $500 an hour price range with really no chance of arrest, someone who has never been there inevitably posts about how the police will arrest the guy asking the Vegas question and he will be denied further entry into the U.S., even though there are literally thousands of commercial sex transactions every day in Vegas and the only arrests are for streetwalker action. Forget sex for a moment and think about the stock market. Most of us wish we had bought more stocks six years ago when the market had bottomed, but most of us did not.

    The correct way to analyze the unknown is through the type of logic you applied and I commend you. There will be a correct way to still access Montreal's great escort scene after c-36 and that correct way will be through rational analysis, not irrational fear. To me, outcall to relatively upper end hotels from a reviewed provider or agency not explicitly advertising sex will be as close to 100 percent safe as such an activity can possibly be. That will favor the guys able to spend the most, which is inherently unfair. That is the way it us in the U.S., which is not necessarily a good thing.

  3. #3
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    Very well said guys.
    "Fear cuts deeper than swords" -George R.R. Martin
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    Very good analysis gugu. The fact that many politicians and LE across the country are openly suspicious of this new law should also help to calm people. There is no real will behind this new law. If it was like in Sweden, where the law had full support for enforcement it would be a different thing. I am looking forward to seeing the recommendation of Ontario's Attorney general; I hope it doesn't take very long.
    “Truth, Justice, Freedom, Reasonably Priced Love.”

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    Quote Originally Posted by Siocnarf View Post
    I am looking forward to seeing the recommendation of Ontario's Attorney general; I hope it doesn't take very long.

    Yes, me too. But these things always take a long time. I expect it will take several months before we hear from the AG's office.

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    Another thing to consider is that this law is headed straight for the courts - where it will bounce around for the next several years probably.
    Law enforcement will probably wait to see where the courts are headed on C-36 before investing any resources on enforcement. They will use the law when egregious violations are discovered during the course of other investigations - see the SPVM's position in Reverdy's post (#32) here: https://merb.cc/vbulletin/showthread....s-to-announce-!!

    If we were to guess if/where police forces may want to use C-36 in the near future to go after users or advertisers, it would probably be in more conservative areas of the country (i.e. the "conservative base"). Most of these areas are well West of Quebec.

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    You guys all missing the point. C-36 has already inflicted damage to the hobby industry without any enforcement. One thing is to practice hobby legally or semi-legally as before and quite another by constantly looking over your shoulder knowing that what you do is against the law of the land. In many places in the US you can hobby pretty much safe and yet we all valued Montreal not only for the great talent available but also for the practical legality of the escort industry. The same was with Amsterdam before the current weed revolution in the US. Though dope was readily available in the US everywhere people was visiting Amsterdam to enjoy legality of it.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by easyguy View Post
    You guys all missing the point. C-36 has already inflicted damage to the hobby industry without any enforcement.
    It is called fear mongering panic mode. I can see the board changing to overseas account, less descriptive advertising. If I was in Montreal I do not think my hobbying schedule will change.
    All these threads saying what do we do and are you going to stop.... Really?
    I do not think outside the box, I do not think inside the box, I do not even know where the box is.

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    [screen screen screen, BOYZ! Is exactly an explicit expression of the panic mode, lol

  10. #10
    I agree with the original poster about the irrational fears. This new law is outrageous, and is pissing me off because 1) it's stupid 2) it put Canadian citizens (sex workers) at a greater risk than others, and that's unacceptable. It's driven by ideology and vote-seeking. Personally, I'm not worried, I still feel safe and will not change my habits. But this law is not about me, it's about sex workers, and the fact that they are, again, considered second-class citizens not worthy of being protected from murder and rape.

    I have a question that maybe someone here could answer. The government of Ontario has asked its Attorney-General to investigate whether the new law is actually protecting sex workers and communities and/or infriging constitutional rights. What I understand from a National Post article I will link to at the bottom of this post, is that if Ontario refuses to enforce C-36, the cops could technically still make arrests, but the province's Attorney-General would not prosecute? Is it working the same way in every province?
    As for Montreal, could the city asks its police department to enforce or not enforce a law, not just this one but any law?
    Has the government of Québec reacted so far to C-36?

    By the way, a person guilty of purchasing sexual services risk a $500 fine for a first offense. They will need to convict a lot of people to a lot of $500... Is it worth the human and financial resources that would be required from LE? Absolutely not, the same way busting massage parlors was a considerable waste of time and resources for the police department. C-36 or not, that fact remains: police departments would surely prefer to invest their resources elsewhere. How do you build a case against two consenting adults agreeing to sell/purchase sexual services anyway? How much time and money do you need to spend in order to do this? It's simply not worth it.

    And let's face it, if the new law is not enforced, nobody except a prude or two will complain: people worry and demand the police take action to "protect the communities" when streets are made unsafe by homicides, sexual assaults, etc., or when gang members are engaged in a war, as it happened when a bomb exploded in Hochelaga in the 90s in the middle of the bikers war, causing much anxiety and public outrage. If it's not seriously and frequently enforced, and nobody in the general population cares, they won't be specifically asked for nothing more, and they will be more than happy to avoid the extra workload.

    Might just be wishful thinking on my part, but I can see a scenario like this one playing out: PDs in many several Canadian cities will simply not bother enough. I can't see people in Montreal, Toronto or Vancouver caring very much either. It might be the best outcome for sex workers in the hope of a fair legislation and another Supreme Court intervention.
    From National Post: "Provinces could kill new prostitution law by refusing to enforce it"
    http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/...to-enforce-it/

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by bushleague View Post

    I have a question that maybe someone here could answer. The government of Ontario has asked its Attorney-General to investigate whether the new law is actually protecting sex workers and communities and/or infriging constitutional rights. What I understand from a National Post article I will link to at the bottom of this post, is that if Ontario refuses to enforce C-36, the cops could technically still make arrests, but the province's Attorney-General would not prosecute? Is it working the same way in every province?
    As for Montreal, could the city asks its police department to enforce or not enforce a law, not just this one but any law?
    Has the government of Québec reacted so far to C-36?

    By the way, a person guilty of purchasing sexual services risk a $500 fine for a first offense. They will need to convict a lot of people to a lot of $500... Is it worth the human and financial resources that would be required from LE?
    1 The strategy in applying the law is basically discussed between LE and the DPCP (Québec’s general prosecutor). Some general principals are made public by the DPCP. He specifics are not made public however. You will not hear from the DPCP on C-36.

    2 There is of course close relation between LE and cities (those having police forces). Those relations go mainly one way: the city getting information and recommended procedures from LE. Most of the time, the City will follow those recommendations. You would have good reasons to believe Paquin (responsible for prostitution at the SPVM), Parent (chief of the SPVM), Samson (responsible for city planning on this issue) and Coderre (mayor) are all following the lines drawn by Paquin. There could be disagreements, but there are none in this specific case. In some cases, the City will inform LE of citizens complaints and ask them to do something. This applies mainly to cases of concentrated street prostitution.

    3 Taxation revenues from the sex sector are never quite significant for a city, even one like Amsterdam. However, the city prefers having those revenues than not. Applying C36 and closing indoors (mp being the main ones) is a net relatively small loss for the City. Also, going after clients is a net loss. It means spending in law enforcement without any gain from the fines (these are not cashed by the City).

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by gugu View Post
    There is just simply no way the SPVM would see things otherwise in a city the size of Montreal with the size of it’s sex sector. If it aint broke don’t fix it. This is why the SPVM has made it’s clear policy statement yesterday: BUSINESS AS USUAL.
    Very well put. Can you possibly provide a link to the SPVM statement, if, indeed, it's posted online?

    I wonder, as well, if the Harper government wants the law enforced or if the law is simply lip service. Until there's an actual arrest and court challenge, the law will stand. Once there's an arrest and a challenge of the law, it will be struck down. It's probably in the Harper administration's best interests to simply have it there, unenforced, and unchallenged.
    The mounties always get their man.

  13. #13
    Here is the link. It's an interview with Le Devoir.

    Harper does not have the means to enforce that law. It's mostly a provincial responsibility.

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    Guys,

    Quote Originally Posted by bushleague View Post
    I have a question that maybe someone here could answer. The government of Ontario has asked its Attorney-General to investigate whether the new law is actually protecting sex workers and communities and/or infriging constitutional rights. What I understand from a National Post article I will link to at the bottom of this post, is that if Ontario refuses to enforce C-36, the cops could technically still make arrests, but the province's Attorney-General would not prosecute?
    It's interesting to see that politics in Canada work much the same as in the U.S.. Make the law first THEN test it's Constitutionality. Get it on the books then try to remove it.

    Quote Originally Posted by bushleague View Post
    Might just be wishful thinking on my part, but I can see a scenario like this one playing out: PDs in many several Canadian cities will simply not bother enough. I can't see people in Montreal, Toronto or Vancouver caring very much either. It might be the best outcome for sex workers in the hope of a fair legislation and another Supreme Court intervention.
    We here...on a sex board (note priorities)...can all agree that enforcement of C-36 is going to be a big problem for many good and rational reasons. But let's not forget it got to be a reality in law despite all the logical reasons against it, the question of Constitutionality, and the problem of enforcement. Am I worried. NOPE. As a sometimes visitor, not a chance. For you locals and regulars, you should be reasonably cautious, but not all that worried if you don't take real chances you don't have to.

    Still, there was enough support to get the law passed and as long as it is on the books it does offer opportunities and supporters will no doubt try to make make points as well as a political splash about it's legitimacy during any sexual exploitation incidents. At those times who knows how far that may extend a crackdown.

    Quote Originally Posted by gugu View Post
    Harper does not have the means to enforce that law. It's mostly a provincial responsibility.
    Yes, but does that translate to no enforcement at all? Political and media hype over abuse episodes will force some action. Don't be irrationally fearful, but don't go around like nothing has changed.

    take care,

    Merlot

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    Quote Originally Posted by gugu View Post
    Harper does not have the means to enforce that law. It's mostly a provincial responsibility.
    From my read of some of the recent articles in the linked area, I might have been wrong in suggesting that the courts would require an arrest and conviction prior to a challenge. It seems that Ontario's Premier is already planning to contest it before the courts.
    The mounties always get their man.

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