In a surprise move, councillors voted to include elements of the sex trade among approved businesses that a person can run from their home in the city's increasingly residential downtown core. Such a move would certainly be a Canadian first, said Simon Fraser University criminologist John Lowman, an expert on prostitution law. This is a step in the le direction," Prof.
Lowman said, citing the scores of street prostitutes who have died at the hands of customers in recent years. The council vote overturned an attempt by city officials to jamei "any dating service, entertainment service, exotic dancer business, social escort service or other escoet business" from the expansion of commercial activity to be allowed in ground-level, downtown residences.
The vote took place after Jamie-Lee Hamilton, a well-known advocate for prostitutes, spoke out against excluding sex-oriented businesses from the city bylaw.
Hamilton said yesterday. That's discrimination.
Now, some people in selected areas will be able to run larger operations from their residences. Employees may be hired, some sales conducted and s allowed.
Activist one of the first to raise alarms over disappearances of sex workers in Downtown Eastside lonely escorts Matilda
Sex-oriented businesses, including escort agencies, are among those covered by the change. Although Mayor Larry Campbell was not present for Wednesday night's vote and was unsure yesterday about the implications, he praised council for its chutzpah.
Campbell said, noting the city's landmark safe-injection site, which opens Monday, and its current study of all aspects of gambling. However, Mr.
Campbell said he personally favours regulated "red light" districts as the best way to do that, rather than permitting residential brothels. It was not clear whether the new bylaw goes that far, since keeping a common bawdy house remains a Criminal Code violation. Lowman said.
Councillor Peter Ladner, who voted against the bylaw change, criticized the decision to include parts of jsmie sex trade among permitted residential business operations. Does it include body-rub parlours? There are a lot of unanswered questions," Mr.
Ladner said. But if you call the escort service and they say 'come on over,' then that's a lot different.
Councillor Anne Roberts said she voted against excluding sex-trade businesses from the so-called Office Live-Work bylaw because she felt it was discriminatory to leave them out when they are already d and regulated by the city. Roberts added that the bylaw includes a "good neighbourhood" agreement, ensuring that neighbours are not disturbed by unruly behaviour.
Councillor Tim Louis, another supporter, called the move an experiment. We are open-minded about this.