Real Menard, Vision Party mayor of the east end Ho-Ma borough, was recently promoted to the city's executive committee, although we shall see if he disproves my argument that politicians who go to bat for legalized prostitution quickly get tossed out by voters.
Menard had a plan to allow a free-for-all prostitution zone at Alphonse D. Roy and Ste. Catherine E. last summer.
I was recently explained the details of what he proposed and although surely well-intentioned, it seems straight from the half-bakery.
Menard sought to relocate prostitution in residential areas of his district by concentrating the friendless women on a block just east of over the viaduct on Ste. Catherine E. Currently the women can mainly be found starting a block or two east, from Prefontaine and beyond.
The plan was to put three or four parking spots next to each other where you'd park your car and invite the woman or man (or transsexual...don't pretend you didn't think of that -- Chimples) into the vehicle to have sex with you.
The car parked next to you would get a pretty good view into your car as would passing pedestrians and motorists.
There were no plans for video surveillance, or emergency phones or extra policing, or method of helping make it safer, which is a bit alarming since this spot has been one of the more problematic places for violence against street sex workers.
The project would have lasted two months during the summer.
|The zone would have looked like this|
That led, in turn, to an increase in violence against the women, according to Stella's Director Emilie Lalibertie who told me that when business goes down, sex workers accept drunk or abusive clients, men they would never otherwise accept.
Police have also started increasingly putting sex workers into jail not directly for soliciting, but for violating parole conditions from a previous bust which ban them from simply being in certain designated areas.
|This one was always in |
front of my old
building in Verdun.
I have a lot of respect for Stella, but I also fully understand residents not wanting street prostitutes lingering near their homes.
There used to be at least two hookers who'd stand in front of my old building in Verdun. One was discreet and non-bothersome but another was incredibly stubborn, persistent and aggressive, she'd flat-out smoke crack right in the street and just give a degraded and defeated flavour to the area.
Some say that there are fewer street prostitutes than before but Stella insists there have been pushed to other areas.
The ideal situation would be to encourage commercial sex indoors but I doubt if we'll ever see a legalized red light zone, as no area would want to have it in their backyard.
On Monday Dec. 17, at 5 p.m. at the corner of Ste. Catherine and Alphonse D. Roy, Stella will be holding a ceremony in honour of sex trade workers have been assaulted or killed in the line of duty. A good friend of Maude Belair, will be among those addressing the crowd.