Are sex workers in Toronto ‘sex workers’ for rent?

Renters seeking sex can be “sex workers”, Toronto city councillor David Shiner said Tuesday.

Shiner, who is chair of the Toronto Sex Workers Association, said the word “sex” can also be used to describe a “sexual service”, a term that was coined in the 1960s by feminist writer Dorothy Day.

“When people think of sex workers, they think of a place that is being used to engage in prostitution,” he said at a news conference.

Shiners office, however, has a separate location, where the staff has a “safe space” to work from, where they do not have to fear arrest or prosecution for prostitution, said Shiner.

The councillor said he had spoken to the Toronto Police Service about a report that he said was being circulated that sex workers should not be charged with prostitution, even if they are using services like brothels.

“There is no criminal offence of prostitution in Toronto, which is why the Toronto police department has never brought charges against any of the workers, Shiner added.

The city’s director of sex work services has been on leave since Oct. 31, when a former worker was found to have paid for sex acts through her Facebook account.

Shines office also has another branch that provides counselling to sex workers and supports the city’s sex workers with housing, Shiners said.

The Toronto Police Department has not responded to a request for comment.

Shiller said he was “appalled” to hear that the city was targeting sex workers.

Shores said he hopes the Toronto council will act on a motion calling on Toronto to decriminalize sex work and to ban the advertising of sex services. “

I think it’s time for us to stop using the term and start using the real word,” Shiner told reporters.

Shores said he hopes the Toronto council will act on a motion calling on Toronto to decriminalize sex work and to ban the advertising of sex services.

Shires office is located on Bloor Street East, just east of Bathurst Street.

The group is also trying to get rid of sex worker advertisements in local newspapers.

Shirely’s office is also looking at changing the city code so that the name of the sex workers’ union does not appear on the front page.

_____ Follow Laura Ream on Twitter: @lreamdc