Sunday, March 2, 1997

Ian Austin
Staff Reporter

p. A16.

Activist Cindy Piper wants a six-block bubble zone around schools. Staff photo by Arlen Redekop

No-go zone for hookers sought

Attorney-General Ujjal Dosanjh will meet with the provincial prostitution unit tomorrow to try to control hookers hanging around Vancouver elementary schools.

Dosanjh has been asked to establish a six-block no-go zone around elementary schools for pimps and prostitutes.

"I think children have a right to walk to school safely," Dosanjh said at the NDP convention in Vancouver yesterday.

"The issues are the safety of the children, the safety and serenity of our neighborhoods and the safety and serenity of our schools."

The school in the debate is Sir William Macdonald elementary at 1950 E. Hastings, where sex workers openly ply their trade just a block away.

"It robs our students of their innocence if they have to be worried about infected needles and condoms when they are five years old," said principal Carole Kaye.

"It's a horrible way to live."

Teacher Norine Colvin says even the schoolgrounds are fair game.

"They use our schoolgrounds to drink, to do drugs, to have sex," said Colvin, who's especially worried about pimps recruiting schoolgirls.

"One of our staff sat down on the stairs and got pricked with a needle.

"It will take six months to find out if they are safe. If that had been a five-year-old, they wouldn't even know the risks."

Activist Cindy Piper of the Hastings East Neighborhood Action Groups says a six-block no-go zone will help kids return to a normal life.

"The law says that you can't have a billiard hall or a pornography store within six blocks, but it's okay to have a live sex trade," said Piper. "The politicians have to get off their duffs and do something."

Principal Kaye said concerned parents won't be stopped easily:

"They stopped it in the West End, they stopped it in Mount Pleasant and people believe if they work hard enough they can stop it here."

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Created: February 24, 1997
Last modified: July 2, 1997

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