Tuesday, March 28, 2000 7:48 PM
NS Johns may face new penalties
HALIFAX, N.S. Nova Scotians who try to pick up prostitutes may soon face the possibility of having their cars impounded.
The Tory government has dusted off an anti-prostitution bill introduced nearly a year ago but never carried forward by the minority Liberals. It would allow municipalities to seize and possibly sell cars driven by Johns.
Under Tory Bill 28, police officers would have the right to impound a car they believe was used by a John and if that person was convicted, the municipality could then sell the car and keep the proceeds.
Justice Minister Michael Baker thinks the threat of losing a car might prevent would-be Johns from seeking a prostitute.
"We have to attack demand and the way you attack demand is by convincing the Johns that it's not in their interest to engage in street prostitution," Baker said.
But New Democrat Howard Epstein isn't convinced.
"The minister talked about trying to get at the underlying conditions," Epstein said. "I don't think that's what he has done here, he's really just beating on one of the symptoms."
Liberal Michel Samson also worries about the impact of someone losing the family car. "Is it going to really hurt the Johns themselves or is it going to hurt, for example, family members?" Samson asked.
He says he's against prostitution but he also wants to make sure any law aimed at curbing prostitution doesn't hurt innocent people in the process.
Created: December 6, 2000
Last modified: January 15, 2001
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