It's hard to picture Claire Jones in bed with organized crime. The curvy sex worker, who has been plying her prodigious assets for seven years now, could one day face five years in jail if she works with other “girls'' at her luxury downtown condo. And she does, at least sometimes. New regulations announced earlier this month by Justice Minister Rob Nicholson, regulations aimed at strengthening “the ability of law enforcement to fight organized crime,'' put her at risk....Ironically, as reports over the past few weeks have revealed, police forces bungled the Pickton case. Sex workers who had evidence that might have prevented more deaths were discounted, just because they were deemed not credible as witnesses. “I actually don't think the government cares about sex workers; to them it's just ‘oh they're going after organized crime,''' says NDP MP Libby Davies, in whose Vancouver east riding serial killer Robert Pickton picked off his victims. “The whole underpinning of the missing women is that they weren't ever seen as people, they were seen as disposable garbage by everybody.''
When it comes to considering the missing and murder women from the Downtown Eastside, these are the concerns: • Why did so many things go wrong? • Lack of trust for police that still keeps women from reporting violence. • What can we learn about solicitation laws and why they don't work? • Jurisdictional issues need to be addressed. • A necessary evaluation of any public program. • What can we learn about marginalized women and men?
Ignatieff said Tuesday he supports the harmonized sales tax because of its economic benefits, but he said B.C. residents also have a right to rally against it. But federal New Democrat MP Libby Davies said Ignatieff didn't vote against the HST bill that the Conservative government rammed through last year. She said the NDP repeatedly challenged the procedural tactics that were being used. "It's very disingenuous for Ignatieff to come to B.C. and portray himself as a friend of the people of B.C. because of the way the HST was handled when he didn't do anything," Davies said.
NDP MP Libby Davies doesn’t think Premier Gordon Campbell’s former role as chair of the Vancouver police board puts him in a conflict of interest on the issue of whether to hold a public inquiry on the missing women. Davies sat on Vancouver city council during Campbell’s stint as mayor and police board chair from 1986 to 1993, around the time that women began disappearing from the Downtown Eastside. “It doesn’t put him in a conflict of interest,” the Vancouver East MP told the Straight by phone. “He’s the premier. He’s in a different role. A lot more information has come forward since when he was mayor. Back in those days, originally the call was for a special task force, and that was turned down many, many times when I was on council and such. But no, I don’t think he’s in a conflict. He’s the premier and he’s got to uphold the public interest.”
NDP MP Libby Davies says it's "outrageous" that the Conservative government has quietly enacted new organized crime regulations — which include making bawdy house offences a "serious crime" — while Parliament is on summer break. As part of their plans to crack down on organized crime, the federal government put through several regulatory changes to the Criminal Code in the middle of July. Justice Minister Rob Nicholson announced the changes on Wednesday.