Wednesday, March 25, 2009 10:58 AM Re : Prostitution Forum


I understand you were upset after being asked to
leave the prostitution forum held recently at SFU Downtown campus. This request
for media to leave obviously has caused you some anguish and in return because
you are a journalist at the Vancouver Courier this provided you a forum like a
petulant little boy to lash out at those you consider responsible for your
expulsion. moreover, you have I believe mis-used your paper to get back at those
who you dis-agree with.

Your journalistic integrity though suffers a blow
when instead of writing a piece on your observations, you resort to name-calling
and an all out attack on those who favour a harm reduction approach to the
prostitution issue here in Vancouver.

In no particular order here are my
thoughts on your story.

First you call a number of us who you ‘pro
prostitution’ as ‘old white women’. This is pathetic journalism as well as being
inaccurate. Those speaking at the forum who are in favour of a harm reduction
approach include Julie from the organization SWAN who advocates for Asian
females involved in the sex trade. Julie herself is a younger Asian woman. Two
young Pivot lawyers who are Mothers and brought their babies could hardly be
called ‘old’. Plus there was myself and I am Aboriginal and not a ‘white

Next you attack Scarlett Lake who was attending as an observer by
calling her a ‘pimp’ which was uncalled for. Scarlett is a sex trade worker and
owner/operator of an Independent escort service but to reduce her to a ‘pimp’
which has serious implications is yellow journalism.

You also go on about
the ‘pro prostitution’ side as bleach blondes and heavily made up. Nice try Mr
Hasiuk but this obviously shows your disdain for women. The only blonde I saw at
the Forum was Scarlett and I don’t think whether a woman or a man for that
reason touches up their hair should give rise to being called a bleached out
blonde, as you have done.

Your put down of women in such a derogatory way
shows that you have some issues in your life.

You also go on about the
Abolitionist side  being outnumbered at the forum by the ‘pro prostitution
side’. This is a distortion and you know it Mr Hasiuk. In fact the numbers were
the opposite. I counted 6 of us who favour sex trade safety and the number of
Abolitionists present was 12. 

When we were invited to participate
in the Forum, the agreed upon agenda stipulated that each speaker would be given
10 minutes to speak. At the start of the meeting there was a request from the
group identifying themselves as Abolitionists that they wished to have 20
minutes to speak. This was unfair and I spoke up about this and so the Forum
organizers  caucused and agreed that the original allotment of time for
each speaker would stand.

Next it came to the attention of the room and
forum organizers that media was present. This Forum was private and therefore
you were asked to leave. It is noteworthy that the Forum organizers stated they
had not invited the media (you) and one can only conclude since this forum
wasn’t publicized that you Mr Hasiuk were attending upon the invitation of the
Abolitionist side who you often write favourably toward. In fact I asked you to
self-disclose your stance on this issue and you refused. I did this because I
wasn’t going to participate in a meeting where only one media was present who
could possibly present information favourable toward those on one side who want
to prohibit prostitution.

Your recent column cements my point where in
the short time present at the meeting, you provide to Courier readers a
distorted and inaccurate perspective of the meeting. I can only imagine what you
may have done if allowed to be there for the whole meeting.

You go on to
claim that the meeting started one hour late and you are wrong here. We were
asked to attend for 12:30 pm where a light lunch would be served with the
program starting at 1pm. The forum actually started at 1:15pm. Perhaps those who
invited you didn’t convey this information to you.

Next you go on to
attack prominent feminist and lesbian activist Esther Shannon by calling her
rabid. Ms Shannon has viewpoints but to reduce her public and professional
record of public service to being rabid is disgusting. 

After the
forum organizers asked you to leave, you, Mr Hasiuk, quite aggressively singled
out MP Libby Davies yelling across the room at her that you were one of her
constituents and what was her opinion of the media being tossed from a ‘public
forum’. The forum Mr Hasiuk was not a public meeting as you state and why you
would single out MP Davies for your wrath is troubling. It was the organizers
who asked you to leave.

It is obvious from your article that the Courier
has an editorial stance of favouring Abolition of Prostitution. I find this
somewhat ironic though considering that the Courier takes ads from sex workers.
Of course the obvious must be stated here. The Courier receives revenue from
those engaged in the world’s oldest profession yet wants to prohibit
prostitution. Interesting.

Finally, I just want to say I feel sorry for
the female staff working at the Courier who work alongside a male who seems full
of anger and rage. One who thinks sex workers are the evil scourges on earth who
must be rid of at all costs. Further, that women who colour their hair or wear
make-up are less than other women in society and therefore must be publicly
ridiculed and  scorned–all in order–so that you can further your agenda
of abolishing prostitution.

Sad Mr Hasiuk really sad.

Jamie Lee

“I believe you change the world One man at a


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