Month: March 2019

Carbon Tax To Kick In For Provinces That Rejected Federal Plan

A woman pumps gas in Toronto.

People in Manitoba, Ontario, Saskatchewan and New Brunswick will be paying more for gasoline and heating fuel Monday when the federal government’s carbon tax begins in provinces that refused to impose their own emissions pricing.

The federal tax is $20 a tonne for this year and is set to increase by $10 annually until it reaches $50 a tonne in April 2022.

The starting rate adds 4.4 cents to the price of a litre of gas, about four cents to a cubic metre of natural gas, and also drives up the cost of propane, butane and aviation fuel.

There is uncertainty about how widespread the impact will be, how businesses will receive rebates, and whether the tax will survive court challenges underway in two of the rebel provinces.

‘Increased costs’ coming

Todd Lewis, president of the Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan, said while farm fuel is exempt from the carbon tax, the levy does apply to that used in commercial trucks and trains moving grain off farms and bringing in seed and equipment.

“As we move our commodities, we’re going to have increased costs. Simple as that,” Lewis said in an interview.

“There’s no way for us to pass these costs along. If you’re a grocery store or a dry cleaner, if you’re costs go up, you can pass them along to the consumers, but we participate in a world market.”

The business community also has unanswered questions. The federal government has yet to reveal details about a program to rebate some of the increased costs faced by small- and medium-sized businesses.

Rebates

Residents of the four provinces will be getting rebates as well on their income tax returns. The rebates start at $128 annually, vary between provinces and increase for people with spouses or dependents at home.

The federal government says the carbon tax is a sensible way to protect the environment — put a price on activities that pollute to discourage emissions, and give back most or all of the money through income taxes.

The holdout premiers have been vocal in their criticism.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford has described the carbon levy as a “job-killing” tax that will increase prices on everything. He has warned that it could cause a recession — a claim economists dispute.

Ford has tweeted nearly daily about the tax over the last two weeks — his caucus members have contributed dozens more — and has held news conferences to rail about it.

An Ontario court is set to hear the government’s constitutional challenge of the carbon tax in April. A Saskatchewan court has already heard similar arguments and is expected to deliver its verdict shortly.

New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs’s government argues the tax will punish the province’s large rural population because there’s no option to ditch vehicles for public transit.

In Manitoba, Progressive Conservative Premier Brian Pallister initially intended to implement a lower carbon tax, and demanded the province be recognized for spending billions to build clean hydroelectric infrastructure. He dropped the idea and joined the protesting provinces when Ottawa refused to accept the lower rate.

Uncertainties for people who are concerned about trade … or people who are concerned about higher interest rates for mortgages when they come up for renewal.Brian Pallister

Pallister said the tax comes at a time of economic uncertainty for Manitobans.

“Uncertainties for people who are concerned about trade … or people who are concerned about higher interest rates for mortgages when they come up for renewal.”

Pallister suggests the federal rebates may not be enough to offset increased costs businesses will face, which could be passed on to consumers.

“The proposed plan does not consider … the multiplier effects of these taxes on the people we buy things from.”

Beverly Gilbert, a Calgary tax adviser, says the carbon tax will affect Canada’s competitiveness.

“The U.S. does not have any kind of carbon levy or carbon charge so it makes it more difficult to compete internationally,” she said.

Wth files from Stephanie Taylor in Regina, Allison Jones in Toronto, Holly McKenzie-Sutter in St. John’s, Nfld., and Dan Healing in Calgary

Also on HuffPost:

@repost Attorney Separation Agreement

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source https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2019/03/31/carbon-tax-to-kick-in-for-provinces-that-rejected-federal-plan_a_23703418/

By The Wall of Law March 31, 2019 Off

033119-Carbon_Tax_20190331

033119-Carbon_Tax_20190331

People in Manitoba, Ontario, Saskatchewan and New Brunswick will be paying more for gasoline and heating fuel Monday when the federal government’s carbon tax begins in provinces that refused to impose their own emissions pricing.

The federal tax is $20 a tonne for this year and is set to increase by $10 annually until it reaches $50 a tonne in April 2022.

The starting rate adds 4.4 cents to the price of a litre of gas, about four cents to a cubic metre of natural gas, and also drives up the cost of propane, butane and aviation fuel.

There is uncertainty about how widespread the impact will be, how businesses will receive rebates, and whether the tax will survive court challenges underway in two of the rebel provinces.

Todd Lewis, president of the Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan, said while farm fuel is exempt from the carbon tax, the levy does apply to that used in commercial trucks and trains moving grain off farms and bringing in seed and equipment.

“As we move our commodities, we’re going to have increased costs. Simple as that,” Lewis said in an interview.

“There’s no way for us to pass these costs along. If you’re a grocery store or a dry cleaner, if you’re costs go up, you can pass them along to the consumers, but we participate in a world market.”

The business community also has unanswered questions. The federal government has yet to reveal details about a program to rebate some of the increased costs faced by small- and medium-sized businesses.

Residents of the four provinces will be getting rebates as well on their income tax returns. The rebates start at $128 annually, vary between provinces and increase for people with spouses or dependents at home.

The federal government says the carbon tax is a sensible way to protect the environment — put a price on activities that pollute to discourage emissions, and give back most or all of the money through income taxes.

The holdout premiers have been vocal in their criticism.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford has described the carbon levy as a “job-killing” tax that will increase prices on everything. He has warned that it could cause a recession — a claim economists dispute.

Ford has tweeted nearly daily about the tax over the last two weeks — his caucus members have contributed dozens more — and has held news conferences to rail about it.

An Ontario court is set to hear the government’s constitutional challenge of the carbon tax in April. A Saskatchewan court has already heard similar arguments and is expected to deliver its verdict shortly.

New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs’s government argues the tax will punish the province’s large rural population because there’s no option to ditch vehicles for public transit.

In Manitoba, Progressive Conservative Premier Brian Pallister initially intended to implement a lower carbon tax, and demanded the province be recognized for spending billions to build clean hydroelectric infrastructure. He dropped the idea and joined the protesting provinces when Ottawa refused to accept the lower rate.

Pallister said the tax comes at a time of economic uncertainty for Manitobans.

“Uncertainties for people who are concerned about trade … or people who are concerned about higher interest rates for mortgages when they come up for renewal.”

Pallister suggests the federal rebates may not be enough to offset increased costs businesses will face, which could be passed on to consumers.

“The proposed plan does not consider … the multiplier effects of these taxes on the people we buy things from.”

Beverly Gilbert, a Calgary tax adviser, says the carbon tax will affect Canada’s competitiveness.

“The U.S. does not have any kind of carbon levy or carbon charge so it makes it more difficult to compete internationally,” she said.

@repost Alimony and Child Support

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source https://canoe.com/news/national/get-ready-to-pay-more-at-the-pumps-new-carbon-tax-kicks-in-monday-for-4-provinces

By The Wall of Law March 31, 2019 Off

Samantha Josephson

Samantha Josephson

COLUMBIA, S.C. — The man accused of killing a woman who got into his car thinking it was her Uber ride had turned on the child locks in his backseat so the doors could only be opened from the outside, police in South Carolina say.

Columbia Police Chief Skip Holbrook also said investigators found the victim’s blood in Nathaniel David Rowland’s vehicle. Rowland, 24, was arrested and charged in the death of 21-year-old Samantha Josephson of Robbinsville, New Jersey.

Investigators would not say what they think Rowland did to Josephson from the time she got into his black Chevrolet Impala in Columbia’s Five Points entertainment district around 1:30 a.m. Friday until her body was dumped in woods off a dirt road in Clarendon County about 65 miles (105 kilometres) away.

Josephson had numerous wounds to her head, neck, face, upper body, leg and foot, according to arrest warrants released Sunday by the State Law Enforcement Division. The documents didn’t say what was used to attack her.

Josephson’s blood was found in the truck and inside Rowland’s car along with her cellphone, Holbrook said, along with bleach, window cleaner and cleaning wipes.

“This was a bad scene,” the police chief said at a press conference late Saturday.

Hunters found Josephson’s body Friday afternoon just hours after it was dumped despite being left in an area that was “very difficult to get to unless you knew how to get there,” Holbrook said.

Rowland has recently lived in the area, Holbrook said.

The night after Josephson was kidnapped, a Columbia officer noticed a black Chevrolet Impala about two blocks from the Five Points bars where Josephson was kidnapped. The driver ran, but was arrested after a short chase, Holbrook said.

Rowland is charged with kidnapping and murder, Holbrook said. He was being held in the Richland County jail. It wasn’t known if he had a lawyer.

Safety advocates urged college students to match the vehicle colour and model, the license tag number, and the photo of their ride share drivers before getting in a vehicle.

“She simply, mistakenly, got into the car thinking it was an Uber ride,” Holbrook said.

The crime shook Columbia, the state capital where the University of South Carolina is one of the main economic engines. Josephson was a student at the school.

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster and his wife, Peggy, asked on a message on Twitter for prayers for Josephson’s family.

“Peggy and I are devastated and crushed over the Josephson family losing their beautiful daughter Samantha. She was one of the brightest young stars,” McMaster wrote.

The young woman’s father, Seymour Josephson had posted a message to Facebook: “I will miss and love my baby girl for the rest of life. Samantha is no longer with us but she will not be forgotten.”

“It is extremely hard to write this and post it but I love her with all my heart. I could continue to write about her but it kills me. I sit here and cry while looking at the picture and write this,” her father continued.

Columbia Police Department had previously released surveillance images released showing Josephson the student before she disappeared.

She was wearing an orange shirt and black pants, and talking on the phone.

— With files from Radar

@repost Family Legal

Via Legal Separation Lawyer

source https://canoe.com/news/crime/usc-student-allegedly-murdered-by-man-she-thought-was-her-uber-driver

By The Wall of Law March 31, 2019 Off

smollett-rock

smollett-rock

Comic Chris Rock poked fun at Empire star Jussie Smollett while presenting an award at the NAACP Image Awards Saturday night.

“They said no Jussie Smollett jokes,” Rock told the audience at the ceremony, eliciting laughs from the crowd.

“Yeah, I know, but what a waste of light skin. Do you know what I could do with that light skin? That curly hair? My career would be out of here. I would be f—ing running Hollywood,” Rock said during the televised show.

“You’re ‘Jessie’ from now on, you don’t get the ‘u’ no more. That ‘u’ was respect, you ain’t getting no respect from me,” Rock added, while the camera showed The Daily Show host Trevor Noah laughing hysterically.

Smollett, who was recently arrested for disorderly conduct in Chicago after allegedly staging and reporting a fake assault, was a no-show at the event, despite being nominated in the category for best supporting actor in a drama series.

Though he was charged earlier this month on several felony counts, the charges were dropped last week and his record wiped clean.

Ironically, Smollett ended up losing to Jessie; Jessie Williams won for his work on Grey’s Anatomy.

The full list of NAACP Image Awards winners is:

Entertainer of the Year: Beyonce

Outstanding Motion Picture: Black Panther

Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture: Chadwick Boseman, Black Panther

Outstanding Breakthrough Performance: Motion Picture: Letitia Wright, Black Panther

Outstanding Actressin a Motion Picture: Amandla Stenberg, The Hate U Give

Outstanding Directing in a Motion Picture (Film): Ryan Coogler, Black Panther

Outstanding Character Voice-Over Performance (Television or Film): Samuel L. Jackson, Incredibles 2

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture: Michael B. Jordan, Black Panther

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture: Danai Gurira, Black Panther

Outstanding Independent Motion Picture: If Beale Street Could Talk

Outstanding Ensemble Cast in a Motion Picture: Black Panther

Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series: Taraji P. Henson, Empire

Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series:  Anthony Anderson, Black-ish

Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series: Omari Hardwick, Power

Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series: Tracee Ellis Ross, Black-ish

Outstanding Comedy Series: Black-Ish

Outstanding Drama Series: Power

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series: Marcus Scribner, Black-ish

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series:  Marsai Martin, Black-ish

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series: Jesse Williams, Grey’s Anatomy

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series: Lynn Whitfield, Greenleaf

Outstanding Guest Performance in a Comedy or Drama Series: Kerry Washington, How to Get Away with Murder

Outstanding Television Movie, Limited-Series or Dramatic Special: The Bobby Brown Story

Outstanding Actor in a Television Movie, Limited-Series or Dramatic Special: Michael B. Jordan, Fahrenheit 451

Outstanding Actress in a Television Movie, Limited-Series or Dramatic Special: Regina King, Seven Seconds

Outstanding News/Information (Series or Special): Oprah Winfrey Presents: Becoming Michelle Obama

Outstanding Talk Series: The Real

Outstanding Reality Program, Reality Competition or Game Show (Series): Iyanla: Fix My Life

Outstanding Variety Show (Series or Special):  Black Girls Rock!

Outstanding Children’s Program: Doc McStuffins

Outstanding Performance by a Youth (Series, Special, Television Movie or Limited-Series): Marsai Martin, Black-ish

Outstanding Host in a Talk or News/Information (Series or Special) – Individual or Ensemble: Jada Pinkett Smith, Adrienne Banfield Norris, Willow Smith, Red Table Talk

Outstanding Host in a Reality/Reality Competition, Game Show or Variety (Series or Special) – Individual or Ensemble: Steve Harvey, Family Feud

Outstanding Album: Ella Mai by Ella Mai

Outstanding New Artist: Ella Mai

Outstanding Male Artist: Bruno Mars

Outstanding Female Artist: H.E.R.

Outstanding Duo, Group or Collaboration: All The Stars by Kendrick Lamar & SZA

Outstanding Jazz Album: The Story of Jaz by Jazmin Ghent feat. Jeff Lorber, James P. Lloyd, Kim Scott, Philippe Saisse

Outstanding Gospel Album (Traditional or Contemporary): Unstoppable by Koryn Hawthorne

Outstanding Music Video/Visual Album: This Is America by Childish Gambino

Outstanding Song – Traditional: Long As I Live by Toni Braxton

Outstanding Song – Contemporary: Boo’d Up by Ella Mai

Outstanding Soundtrack/Compilation: The Album Music From and Inspired By Black Panther by Various Artists (Kendrick Lamar, SZA feat. 2Chainz, ScHoolboy Q, Saudi, Khalid, Swae Lee, Vince Staples, Yugen Blakrok, SOB x RBE, Jorja Smith, Anderson .Paak, Ab Soul, Reason, Zacari, Babes Wudumo, Sjava, Travis Scott)

Literary Work – Fiction: An American Marriage by Tayari Jones

Outstanding Literary Work – Nonfiction: For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Politics by Donna Brazile, Yolanda Caraway, Leah Daughtry, Minyon Moore & Veronica Chambers

Outstanding Literary Work – Debut Author: Us Against The World: Our Secrets to Love, Marriage, and Family by David Mann, Tamela Mann & Shaun Saunders

Outstanding Literary Work – Biography/Autobiography: Becoming by Michelle Obama

Outstanding Literary Work – Instructional: Rise and Grind: Outperform, Outwork, and Outhustle Your Way to a More Successful and Rewarding Life by Daymond John & Daniel Paisner

Outstanding Literary Work – Poetry: Taking the Arrow Out of the Heart by Alice Walker

Outstanding Literary Work – Children: Hidden Figures: The True Story of Four Black Women and the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly

Outstanding Literary Work – Youth/Teens: Harbor Me by Jacqueline Woodson

Outstanding Documentary (Film): Amazing Grace

Outstanding Documentary (Television): Say Her Name: The Life and Death of Sandra Bland

Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series: The Daily Show with Trevor Noah

Outstanding Writing in a Motion Picture (Television): J. David Shanks, Seven Seconds: Matters of Life and Death

Outstanding Writing in a Motion Picture (Film): Ryan Coogler & Joe Robert Cole, Black Panther

Outstanding Directing in a Comedy Series: Donald Glover, Atlanta (FUBU)

Outstanding Directing in a Drama Series: Deborah Ann Chow, Better Call Saul (Something Stupid)

Outstanding Directing in a Motion Picture (Television): Tracy Heather Strain, Lorraine Hansberry: Sighted Eyes/Feeling Heart

– with files from WENN.com

@repost Divorce Settlement Agreement

Via Child Attorney

source https://canoe.com/entertainment/celebrity/youre-jessie-from-now-on-chris-rock-roasts-jussie-smollett-at-naacp-awards

By The Wall of Law March 31, 2019 Off

Why Outing A Sex Worker Can Have Devastating Consequences

In the early morning hours of Dec. 13, 2018, Nadia Guo made an alarming discovery. A Toronto newspaper had published details of her job as a sex worker — along with her full name.

She had been outed publicly.

Guo was scheduled to appear before the Law Society of Ontario (LSO) that morning for a “good character hearing.” It would examine four complaints about her conduct as a law student in 2015, all related to allegations of negative statements she made about other lawyers, and details about cases she had shared on social media.

The fact she worked as an escort wasn’t on the LSO’s docket; Guo said they had been made aware of her profession and didn’t consider sex work as a reason for denying a call to the bar.

Yet, a photo of Guo and the headline, “LEGAL ‘NYMPH,” had hit the Toronto Sun’s front page, falsely claiming the hearing was centred on her “double life as an escort.”

Toronto Star columnist, Rosie DiManno, wrote a story about Guo’s hearing, and led with details about her escort work — while at the same time stating it had nothing to do with the hearing.

As Sun reporter Sam Pazzano told Canadaland, the escort angle added “spice” to his story. That spice cost Guo: initial coverage and follow-upcolumns took a toll on her health, she told HuffPost Canada over email. She suffered fitful dreams and intrusive thoughts about death and disappearing.

Nadia Guo is a Toronto-based law graduate who was outed by a Toronto newspaper for her sex work. As "Dawn Lee," Guo blurred her face in ads. After the Law Society of Ontario decided it would take no action on her escort work, she decided it was safe to show her face in photos.

Guo’s family already knew about her sex work, but the public scrutiny was nerve-wracking for her parents. Guo worried their colleagues would find out and judge them.

“I wanted to protect [my dad] and my mom from the viciousness that I was experiencing more than anything,” she said. “I feel like I can handle whatever shit I have to deal with, but the hardest thing has been how the media is making my family deal with it too. They’re innocent to all of this.”

Like many sex workers, Guo made great efforts to conceal her identity online. She blurred her face and identifiable body parts in many ads. She went by a pseudonym, Dawn Lee.

Guo gave permission for HuffPost to use her real name for this story, and said she wouldn’t have been bothered by coverage of the hearing itself, which was public record. However, she described the framing of her escort work as a detriment to the law profession as a “smear campaign.”

Sex work isn’t something she’s ashamed of.

What is sex work, and who does it?

A sex worker is anyone who consents to providing sexual services in exchange for money. As an umbrella term, sex work covers escorts, cam models, phone operators, adult entertainment performers, strippers, erotic masseuses, and street-based workers. Around 77 per cent are women, according to a 2014 report funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

While “prostitution” is Canada’s legal term, many activists prefer the term “sex work” for being less loaded with societal disapproval.

Sex workers come from all walks of life, yet according to Caressa Renoir*, an escort and board member of sex work activism organization, Maggie’s: Toronto Sex Workers Action Project, perceptions of who they are fall under two extremes.

Caressa Renoir*, who asked to be identified by her working name, says many people don't respect sex workers because they think the profession requires no skill or intelligence.

“I find it’s either, ‘Look how hard their life is’ or, ‘Look how many red-bottom heels she has.'” she said. “A lot of us occupy a space in between that — we have secondary jobs, or kids, or go to school.”

HuffPost Canada spoke to several Canadian sex workers about their experiences with stigma. What kept them up at night isn’t the services they provide. “Whorephobia” — a term sex work activists use to refer to hatred and discrimination against sex workers — was their biggest enemy.

Stigma against sex workers, they said, creates barriers to their labour rights, endangers their safety, and puts them at odds with legislation that outlaws how they operate.

The fear of being outed

The effects of outing can devastate lives, said University of Ottawa professor Chris Bruckert.

“The implications can range from losing contact with your family, friendships, your job, and losing housing,” she said. “The problem, ultimately, is that there’s so much stigma in being a sex worker.”

Andrea Werhun, author of Modern Whore, a memoir of her escort work, was outed twice: among strangers in a fraternity and then by her uncle to her family. Before and after those experiences, the idea of not being able to control who knew about her sex work terrified her; at one point, it led Werhun to leave her life in Toronto and work on a farm for two years.

“Getting outed is your worst fear realized,” she said. “It’s having to deal with the possibility you will no longer have access to opportunities that were once on your doorstep, because people know that you’re now a whore.”

Author Andrea Werhun has detailed her experiences escorting in the memoir, "Modern Whore."

Carissa Renoir’s mother discovered her sex work and outed her to other family members. She then convinced a doctor to institutionalize Renoir at a psychiatric hospital.

“[It] was beyond humiliating,” Renoir said. “That was a traumatic experience, to say the least. It took me a while to speak to her again.”

Kharisma*, who uses they/them pronouns, had been in the sex work business for 20 years. As a dark-skinned person of colour, they said they had experienced abuse from police officers when they were doing survival sex work.

After they were outed in court during a child custody dispute in 2018, they feared their unborn daughter would be taken by child protection services. The document was later withdrawn, but the damage to their sense of safety was done.

“It was a tactic, that’s what bothers me. I live with a lot of fear now,” Kharisma said. That fear has caused them to leave the sex work industry and move to another city.

An International Women's Day march participant wears a "Sex work is real work" pin, in this undated photo.

Sex work isn’t a crime, but it is criminalized

Bella* is an escort who envisions a future where her profession is considered ordinary.

“I would be able to talk about my work like it’s work,” she said. “I could debrief with my friends about amazing days, shitty days; instead, I’m in a situation where I can only talk to select people.”

The infrastructure of sex work includes mundane tasks, as in any other industry. Work days may include administrative duties like answering emails and screening potential clients. Many elect to work independently, while others choose to hire assistance.

Anyone who helps a worker sell services is a third party, such as an agency that assigns clients or an accountant who helps file taxes.

Being a sex worker isn’t against the law; however, core aspects of the industry are criminalized. It’s illegal to pay for sex, or to run a brothel. Advertisers who publish their ads may face prosecution. Many third-party agreements are illegal.

WATCH: How sex work laws work in Canada. Story continues below.

Reform looked promising in 2013: the landmark Bedford case saw the Supreme Court strike down anti-prostitution laws as unconstitutional.

A year later, the Harper government replaced the overturned laws. Disregarding the Supreme Court’s findings, Parliament amended the Criminal Code to treat sex work using the “Nordic” model, which positions sex work as a social ill, sees workers as victims, and punishes clients.

Many workers and activists disagree with this framework; they view sex work as a profession that a consenting adult should be able to engage in under safe conditions. They call for decriminalization, not legalization.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau previously suggested a review of legislation under an “evidence-based approach.” But substantial moves towards reform hasn’t seen much traction.

From left to right: Sex workers Nikki Thomas, Terri-Jean Bedford, and Valerie Scott were at the centre of a landmark case in 2013 that challenged the Canadian law as unconstitutional.

If the Canadian government were to legalize the industry, Bruckert says, any new laws would be informed by existing stigma.

“[The laws] will pin on assumptions that sex workers are a risk, bad for the neighbourhood, that we will need to regulate disease. All these things of trope end up becoming embedded in the laws,” Bruckert said. “You end up with laws that become highly discriminatory because you are pivoting off these myths.”

Potential pitfalls include invasive health checks, zones that restrict where sex work can be conducted, and a federal registration system. With any line of work, exploitation and unfair business practices exist, Bruckert said. However, the current laws ignore and endanger the diversity of circumstances in the sex-work industry.

Anti-prostitution legislation from south of the border has affected Canadian workers. Following the passing of two U.S. anti-trafficking bills, which were supposed to help trafficking victims, Bella’s advertising sites were shuttered, despite her operating across Canada.

“Imagine waking up and your employment was gone. There was no way for us to advertise what we were selling … We have bills and families to feed; I was in a situation where I was taking bookings I never had to before,” she said.

To get by, Bella had to see clients she wouldn’t normally be comfortable with. One who gave her a “bad gut feeling” locked her in his garage, she said.

Decrim NY, a coalition of activists gather at Feb. 25 event, to advocate for decriminalizing and decarcerating the sex trades in New York City and state.

Sex-work stigma affects health and safety

The Nordic model hasn’t improved health outcomes for Canadian sex workers. University of British Columbia researchers found a 41 per-cent reduction in sex workers accessing health care following the 2014 law’s implementation.

Wary of stereotypes about diseased sex workers, many choose not to disclose their jobs to doctors. A Canadian Public Health Association study found that sex workers are nearly eight times more likely to avoid health care because of a fear or dislike of doctors. Additional disclosure concerns are compounded for trans workers and workers who are survivors of sexual violence.

Those on the street make up the smallest percentage in the industry, but face the brunt of violence, as well as the highest levels of incarceration and involvement with law enforcement. Nearly 300 sex workers were murdered from 1991 to 2014, according to Statistics Canada, and a significant number of those were Indigenous women (34 per cent of female workers killed from 1997 – 2014). A Centre for Addictions Research paper reports that the targeted brutality can be traced to a colonial history of devaluing Indigenous women.

“We still assume that because they are sex workers, they have put themselves in risky situations where rape and murder are occupational hazards,” said Werhun.

“Even if people are lauding our bravery, ingenuity and getting out of these dangerous situations, they’re still using our stories as entertainment, while not supporting our right to live.”

The community offers support

Guo was surprised by the community that rallied around her after she was outed. Fellow escorts reached out to offer their support, helped keep the articles off escort review forums, and defended her on social media. Her clients have sent her encouraging messages as well.

“I never felt the full strength of the sex worker community until all of this unfolded. The way even strangers went out of their way to show support and concern for me was something I hadn’t experienced before from the legal community,” she wrote.

Nadia Guo plans to apply for her license to practice law.

The solidarity Guo experienced speaks to a workforce that understands how sensationalizing or belittling one of their numbers can negatively affect them all.

That interest in working together manifests in alliances. Through whisper networks, many share advice and warnings about dangerous clients. The Canadian Alliance for Sex Work Law Reform unites activist organizations. And sex workers from specific communities have formed groups that combat isolation and advocates for themselves, such as Butterfly for migrant women and Maggie’s Indigenous Sex Workers Drum Group.

But a Canada where stigma and whorephobia are eliminated is still a long way away. Until the laws prioritize them, workers said there will continue to be situations where someone like Guo can become the face of a newspaper cover overnight.

What can change in the present, they hope, is perception. That starts with civilians, buyers, health-care providers, lawmakers, and media outlets treating sex workers as everyday Canadians.

More from HuffPost Canada:

On Wednesday, the LSO tribunal made a decision on Guo’s hearing. Guo was found of good character and deemed eligible to pursue her dream of becoming a lawyer.

She said she’s “much less stressed” because of the decision, but is wary about the profession’s current disposition towards individuals like her.

“I want to run my own practise someday. I want to help foster a kinder, more understanding legal community that is more accepting to people who don’t conform and are more accepting of those with diverse perspectives and backgrounds,” Guo said.

“I also want to help facilitate the public’s understanding of sex work and reduce stigma against sex workers by sharing my own experiences, my outlooks, and my truths. I want to help lift up other sex workers when I can.”

*Due to their concerns over their safety, Kharisma, Bella, and Carissa Renoir asked us to refer to them by their former or current working names.

Also on HuffPost:

@repost Alimony and Child Support

Via Property Valuation for Divorce Settlement

source https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2019/03/30/sex-work-outing-stigma-canada_a_23697979/

By The Wall of Law March 31, 2019 Off