Volunteer at PEERS!

peers_beautyBoutiqueWe’re looking for volunteers on Wednesdays for our weekly Beauty Day, particularly hairstylists. And if you can cook, we’d love your help with lunch preparation. PEERS also has open volunteer positions for sorting donated clothing and light cleaning at our centre, and we’d love to connect with a handyperson who could tackle small repairs and fixups. Contact us at admin@peers.bc.ca

PEERS at Bill C-36 Justice Committee Hearings

PEERS has been called as a witness to the Bill C36 Justice Committee Hearings!

Our new Executive Director Rachel Phillips, and PEERS board member Natasha Potvin, will present on July 10, 2014 in Ottawa. Our submission was based on a collaboration of people representing different sectors of the industry and a focus group with program participants held in April—thank you to everyone for making this possible!

Let us know what you think about Bill C36 peershiring@gmail.com

Bill C-36 Fails Sex Workers & Canadians

PEERS new Executive Director Rachel Phillips on Bill C-36:

People who are familiar with the sex industry in Canada are profoundly disappointed in the introduction of Bill C-36 this month.

Many persons who work in the sex industry, as well as advocates, community agencies and sex-work researchers had hoped for complete decriminalization, which has been successfully in place in New Zealand for a decade. As others have noted, C-36 dismisses the concerns of people in the sex industry, ignores three decades of Canadian research and, in a surprisingly arrogant manner, dismisses the spirit of the 2013 Supreme Court of Canada ruling.

Legal experts are rightly predicting that the bill will result in further costly constitutional challenges and uneven enforcement if it becomes law. Enforcement will be disproportionately felt by the most marginalized people in the industry — a lesson already learned from previous attempts to address adult prostitution through criminalization.

What an immense waste of resources in the face of an opportunity to add to Canada’s reputation as a country that values human rights.

With the bill comes the promise of $20 million in federal funds for “exiting programs.” Like many other sex worker-serving agencies across Canada, PEERS struggles to maintain funding. So why doesn’t the $20 million announcement feel like good news?

– See more at: http://www.timescolonist.com/opinion/op-ed/comment-bill-c-36-fails-sex-workers-and-canadians-1.1156580#sthash.kto9UH7t.dpuf

Letter to the Editor, Victoria Times-Colonist