Canadian prostitutes are complaining the coronavirus pandemic has hurt their business just as much as “legitimate” services — but they’ve been excluded from their country’s assistance efforts.
Call girl Susan Davis, who also works as an advocate with the B.C. Coalition of Experiential Communities, says prostitutes don’t qualify for the government’s Emergency Response Benefit, which provides out-of-work residents with as much as $2,000.
As a result, Davis says at least one sex worker she knows has been forced to risk her life by continuing to work the streets. “She has no choice but to go back to work to feed her kids, and put herself and all of her entire family at risk,” Davis says. “While newly unemployed people are acknowledged by the government as needing $2,000 a month.”
Making matters worse is prostitutes who are still working are now facing more harassment by law enforcement officials, according to Jelena Vermilion, executive director of Sex Workers Action Program.
“Because they’re forced to work, they’re going to be policed even more and liable to the new fines and potential jail time with the social distancing guidelines,” she says.
Are people engaged in illegal activities entitled to government payouts? Can you think of any illegal profession that would warrant governmental assistance?