Thursday, August 12, 1999
Clark likes law on child prostitutes
The premier, at a conference in Quebec, says his government will likely adopt an Alberta law allowing authorities to detain such children for 72 hours.
QUEBEC The B.C. government will "very likely" adopt an Alberta law that allows the authorities to apprehend child prostitutes, Premier Glen Clark said Wednesday.
Clark and the country's other premiers have agreed each of their home provinces should consider adoption of the Alberta law to ensure uniformity across Canada in the treatment of child prostitutes by provincial governments.
"We are actively investigating that and I think the problem of child prostitution is so acute that we need to look at some of these perhaps more dramatic efforts to try to deal with what is a very serious problem," Clark told reporters at the conclusion of the three-day annual premiers' conference.
The child-prostitute resolution was one of the few passed by the annual gathering, which didn't call for the federal government to spend millions for highway construction and for aid to farmers, out-of-work shipbuilders on both coasts, students and taxpayers.
The new Alberta statute lets authorities apprehend and lock shild prostitutes in protective safe homes for up to 72 hours. The government wants to give parents and social workers time to persuade the child to quit life on the streets.
"Premiers and territorial leaders expressed their commitment to the safety of children and recognized that children engaged in prostitution are victms of child abuse," the premiers' communique reads.
They agreed to review their child-welfare laws "with a view to harmonize provincial laws as they relate to the apprehension and protection of children engaged in child prostitution."
Alberta Premier Ralph Klein forced the matter onto the premiers' agenda after a B.C. authorities refused a request to seize a Calgary girl suspected of engaging in prostitution in Vancouver. Her father wants her off the streets and back in Calgary but B.C. authorities lack the power to detain her.
Lois Boone, B.C.'s minister responsible for children and families, is in Alberta this week trying to determine if B.C. should adopt the law.
Clark appeared satisfied with the conference and vowed to attend the next gathering in Manitoba a year from now despite his political woes in B.C.
While Ontario Premier Mike Harris tried to boast that he made tax cuts a major issue, Clark said the principal message from premiers to Ottawa was that the federal government should restore $3.7 billion in transfers in order to aid post-secondary students.
The apparent harmony among premiers Wednesday only a day after a testy battle over taxes was underscored in the strong praise for conference host Premier Lucien Bouchard.
Created: August 12, 1999
Last modified: June 10, 2001
Commercial Sex Information Service
Box 3075, Vancouver, BC V6B 3X6
Tel: +1 (604) 488-0710