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The last brothel in Dawson City closed nine years before I arrived in the Territory. The local people rarely spoke about Bombay Peggy's but when they did, it was with an embarrassed laugh. I had the idea it wasn't a particularly high class joint as far as houses of ill repute go.
Prostitution was a big part of the Gold Rush of 1896-98. At that time the women were housed in a 'special' area of Dawson City called Louse Town. The pictures of the workers who plied their trade there are extremely sad.
Prostitution is still a sad business.
And a dangerous one.
This past week the laws governing prostitution in Canada were struck down. In thirty days it will be legal to solicit, pimp and run a common bawdy house in this country.
Although I understand that this might not keep the street-level sex trade workers who are driven by their drug addictions safe, I do think it is a step in the right direction.
Evidently the majority of Canadians feel the same way.
Kalvin Reid, the editor of the St. Catharines Standard said that prostitution is a moral problem, and need not be a legal one.
Let's not get caught up in years of appeals, committee meetings and hearings on prostitution.
Free the police up to deal with drug smuggling, gang wars and dangerous grow ops in our communities because the root of evil in our society is not the selling of sex.
It's the drug trade.