News
Thursday June 22, 2017

mourani-miffed-by-mayor-massage-flipflop

MP Maria Mourani says she’s “shocked” by Mayor Denis Coderre’s apparent about face on his post-election promise to shut down erotic massage parlors.

 

By Deborah Rankin for VMO
Friday, May 16th, 2014

A prominent Catholic MP says she’s “shocked” by Mayor Denis Coderre’s apparent about face on his post-election promise to shut down erotic massage parlors.

“The only way to fight against sexual exploitation is to eliminate these contemporary bordellos," says Maria Mourani, who is gaining national recognition for her leadership against human trafficking.

Mourani, who recently sponsored legislation in the House of Commons tackling human trafficking, called out Coderre after the last civic election. She challenged him then to get the powers he needs to shut down massage parlors that critics say are mere portals for selling under-aged girls into prostitution.

She and Coderre were on opposite sides of the aisle in Parliament when he represented the federal riding of Bourassa for the Liberals. Mourani made headlines last year when she quit the Bloc Québecois to sit as an Independent MP over BQ support for Quebec's Charter of Values. At the time, she was photographed wearing a gold cross, a defining image that put her on the map of Canadian politics.

Coderre’s promise to yank the business permits of massage parlors that are only brothel fronts now appears to have been sacrificed on the altar of legal complexity.

Anie Samson, the member of the executive committee of the City of Montreal responsible for public security, has told the media the city might just regulate erotic massage parlors, citing safety concerns for prostitutes forced to work in them clandestinely.

"It's not true that if you closed all erotic massage parlors tomorrow morning that there wouldn't be any more," Samson says.

She is considering a different strategy to deter the sex trafficking of minor girls, one that could involve regular surveillance of erotic massage parlors by the police.

"It's a complex file," she said through a spokesperson in a recent interview with Ville Marie Online.

Her spokesperson stressed that Samson is analyzing all relevant factors and consulting with specialists in the field in order to determine the "best outcome".

Pressed about which experts have been consulted, the spokesperson would say only that the consultations were with stakeholders "on the ground," leaving wide room for interpretation.

But Mourani, citing a report by the Service de renseignement criminel du Québec, says Montreal is recognized as the "Mecca" of Quebec for trafficking women and children into prostitution. The result has been an explosion of massage parlors and escort services in the Montreal area.

A criminologist, Mourani says she sees girls as young as 12 working as prostitutes. She debunks the myth that women choose prostitution as a form of employment.

"Do you really think that young girls of 12 choose to prostitute themselves? These girls are on the market to feed the needs of pedophiles," she says.

Mourani believes legitimizing prostitution enables pedophiles to justify their actions because they pay for sex.

If the city does regulate these establishments, Samson foresees providing two kinds of licenses: one for erotic massage parlors and another for those that offer massotherapy as a form of alternative healing. In the case of erotic massage parlors, their documentation would have to state clearly they provide services of a "sexual character."

When asked if the city might consider seeking public input on the controversial issue, Samson said, "We're not there yet in terms of public consultation."

The city plans to wait to see what the response of the federal government will be to the Supreme Court ruling in the Bedford case.

In Bedford, the Supreme Court ruled 9-0 that prohibitions under the Criminal Code of Canada outlawing public communication for the purposes of prostitution, operating a bawdy house, and living off the avails of prostitution were unconstitutional. The high court gave Ottawa one year to update its laws in accordance with the ruling.

 

Last Night at the Gayete

last-night-gayete-intro


By Deborah Rankin

The Centaur Theatre's 2015-2016 season is drawing to a close with its final production of Last Night at the Gayety, a musical comedy by Bowser & Blue which runs until May 22nd.

Read more

 

Twitter response: "Invalid or expired token."

Paul Donovan walks the Camino Ignatiano

Follow former Loyola High School principal, Paul Donovan, as he walks the famous 700km Camino Ignatiano.

camino-ignatiano-map

 

Read his blog

ESCC


2005 St-Marc
Montreal, Qc.
H3H 2G8
Tel: 514.937.2301, ext #252, 256
Fax: 514.907.5010
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
website

VILLE MARIE ONLINE

About us

Support us

Advertise with us

Privacy and security

Logon with social media

vmo donate