Tuesday, November 7, 2000 10:09 AM EST

Government targets prostitution

DARTMOUTH — The Nova Scotia Justice Minister introduced a bill Monday that will allow police to seize, and possibly sell, vehicles belonging to 'johns' — the customers who hire prostitutes.

'Johns' arrested for prostitution related crimes will have their cars seized.

The bill is trying to put street prostitutes out of business by punishing their customers.

'Johns' arrested for prostitution-related crimes will have their cars seized, and if found guilty, the car may be sold to cover court costs.

It's a response to people frustrated by prostitutes moving into their neighbourhoods and they say this new law is just what they've been asking for.

"I have a daughter and I've had to streetproof her," says Dartmouth resident Wayne Sitland. "If any woman gets propositioned, this will give them more security."

"It's a deterrent," explains Justice Minister Michael Baker who is introducing the bill for the second time.

It had to be rewritten because some parts were in violation of the Charter of Rights.

"This bill will have virtually no effect," counters New Democrat Howard Epstein. "It's very complicated and they aren't really trying to do anything about it."

Epstein says the government has failed to address addiction and poverty, two of the most common reasons men and women become prostitutes.

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Created: December 6, 2000
Last modified: January 15, 2001
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