Chris Axworthy's Draconian New Law Is Having Its Effects

Saskatoon - Friday, May 10, 2002 - by: Jacob Zunti




Following on the heels of a news report that police in Regina had seized the vehicles of sixteen suspected johns on the week-end pursuant to the powers given to them under new constitutionally dubious legislation designed to curb the street sex trade, I decided to risk the seizure of my own vehicle to drive down 21st Street East in Saskatoon, the city's notorious stroll. I wanted to see for myself what affect the new law, and the reported mass seizure, had on the street sex trade in Saskatoon. My intention was to report my findings to the readers of North Central Internet News, the Sask.Politics Usenet, and anyone else who might care to listen.




Full of apprehension, knowing that the police know I'm not the type that goes to police association support dinners or to mindlessly agree with requests for ever higher police budgets, but prepared to fight any possible seizure of my vehicle in the courts, I turned left down 21st street, and drove as far as Avenue P.




There wasn't another vehicle on the street and nary a prostitute to be seen. Crossing Avenue P, I was tempted to turn away realizing more deeply that the seizure of my vehicle was a real possibility. I carried on, however, driving down 21st street past the stop sign erected by the city last fall to help combat the street traffic problem - all the way down to Avenue I, where the stroll effectively ended.




Again, there were no vehicles and no street workers to be seen. In fact, the "stroll" was so dead it was almost eerie. What with the possible seizure of my vehicle in my mind, and the absence of vehicles and people where these had previously been common, and a source of major irritation to the local home owners, the whole drive was reminiscent of a walk throw a grave yard at night.




Saskatoon Communities for Children, Chris Axworthy, Jacqui Barclay, Peter Prebble, Arlene Jule and Lorne Calvert had done what no one else in history had managed to accomplish. They had defeated the scourge of prostitution with the new law by destroying the market.




Having previously doubted the merits of the legislation, because:

  • I figured it would be ineffectual

  • I thought it wouldn't do a thing to help the ladies and girls who are selling themselves break free of their addictions or get off the street

  • it had potential to be abused by our city's finest

  • I feared it would cause undue and unnecessary hardship for those stupid enough or desperate enough to be interested in obtaining the services of a sex trade worker, and the wives, children or parents of those fools and desperadoes, and because

  • I don't generally approve of legislation that rides roughshod over our constitutional rights.


I was absolutely amazed.


Turning right on Avenue I, and feeling like all that I had ever known about the world, or assumed to be true, was now nothing more than unfounded assumption, but resolved to give credit where credit was due, I decided to turn right again on 20th street rather than left to head home. My intention was to drive back up to Avenue P to check out 21st street one last time. I had to confirm that it had indeed been cleaned out as thoroughly as it appeared.




Alas, heading west on 20th Street, I saw the figure of a young native woman in the shadows, then another, then another, and then still two more. Sad, pathetic, needy, trying as best as they could to get the attention of the drivers of the vehicles that sped past.




Axworthy's draconian law has indeed had its effects. However, rather than stopping the street sex trade as I first surmised that it had, it seems that it only caused the stroll to shift one block to the south. No doubt, it will shift again as the police wise up, as 20th street regains its reputation for being Saskatoon's stroll, and as the johns start to get worried about driving there too.




Of course, the stroll won't shift too much...




In Pleasant Hill only are the accommodations in such a state that the poor girls and women who ply themselves on the streets able to pay the rents, and put a roof over their heads.




If there really is a Prince of Darkness, he's got to be in the throws of a gut buster. May those silver-spooned socialists that articulate the policies of the Calvert NDP get their just reward.

Jacob Zunti