YOU'VE GOTTA BE KIDDING: Vancouver discusses opening a municipal nonprofit brothel to help "protect" sex trade workers

EDITOR'S NOTE: It's been a couple of years since the ePistle featured a really good candidate for the You've Gotta Be Kidding news category.  Here's one that screamed absurdity so loudly that we couldn't pass it up.  If it weren't so heartbreakingly misguided we might be laughing.

> COPE councillor backs city-owned brothel: Helping prostitutes okay as long as city doesn't make money at it, says Vancouver Councillor

by Jeff Lee for the VANCOUVER SUN (11.10.05)

Vancouver should open a not-for-profit brothel to help drug-addicted prostitutes, Committee of Progressive Electors Coun. Tim Louis said Wednesday.

Speaking to the VANCOUVER SUN's editorial board as part of a civic election tour, Louis said he's in favour of  considering a red light district to help protect "survival" sex trade workers.

When asked if he thought the city should open its own brothel, Louis said yes, as long as the city doesn't make any money at it.

"Many people involved in survival sex are drug addicted, and it is a crime that we don't have treatment on demand, so there would be many benefits of a brothel run on a break-even basis," he said.

"Generally speaking, so long as it is, number one, break even, number two, medical services are available, and number three, drug treatment is available on demand, then yes, I support it," he said.

He said the sex trade in the Downtown Eastside is based around the drug trade, and the city needs to offer protection and health services to prostitutes.

…Sam Sullivan, the mayoral candidate for the centre-right Non-Partisan Association, said he was appalled by Louis's comments.

"The goal should be to help these women get out of the survival sex trade, not keep them in it," he said. "I'm running to be mayor to help people, not to get into the business of being a pimp."

(The full story can be found here –  http://www.canada.com/vancouver/vancouversun/news/story.html?id=b1c3c89a-01b6-47c0-b7c7-2805b290c427

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