For immediate release: Thursday, October 9 2008


“ Canada doesn’t have an official death penalty for sex workers; it has a de facto death penalty.”

(Halifax): The criminalization of sex work is both a federal and municipal issue. In this city, prostitution charges were up 96 percent since last year, according to the Halifax Regional Police. This is of great concern to Stepping Stone, a non-profit organization that supports sex workers by contributing to their health, safety and well being. “Arresting sex workers and criminalizing their activities does not stop sex work from occurring; it only serves to further endanger the lives of sex workers while impeding their chances of transitioning into other forms of employment.” – Stepping Stone Executive Director Rene Ross.

To raise awareness of the harm criminalization has caused and the importance of decriminalizing the sex profession, Stepping Stone has invited Sex Professionals of Canada to come to Halifax. Strategically set 2 days before the municipal election, Stepping Stone and Sex Professionals of Canada will be hosting an Evening with Valerie Scott at the Italian Cultural Centre on October 16 that 7pm.

Valerie Scott is a sex worker and Executive Director of Sex Professionals of Canada (SPOC). SPOC is a sex worker rights organization. Its primary goal is the decriminalization of all forms of sex work in Canada. SPOC’s monumental constitutional challenge of the communicating, bawdy house, and living on the avails laws is currently underway at the Ontario Superior Court level.

Scott says “SPOC is happy to be part of this important event in Halifax. Our constitutional challenge is well underway. We hope its final result will be decriminalization. In other countries, decriminalization, as opposed to legalization, has worked to the benefit of all communities.” Scott continues, “The boundaries that Halifax courts are imposing upon sex workers, pushes our colleagues out of their own communities and away from friends, family, healthcare and other vital supports like Stepping Stone.”

Stepping Stone presents:

Sex Professionals of Canada: An Evening with Valerie Scott

Thursday October 16, 2008

Italian Cultural Centre

2629 Agricola Street


Media Contact:

Rene Ross, Stepping Stone Executive Director

(902) 420-0103

(902) 456-8945

Stepping Stone is a non-profit organization that supports individuals involved in the sex trade by contributing to their health, safety and wellbeing. We believe that all individuals have the right to self determination; that sex workers are entitled to safety and access to services and that sex workers are entitled to socio-economic alternatives to sex work.