Calgary police chief calls $20M to help prostitutes 'woefully inadequate'

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OTTAWA - Calgary's police chief says the Harper government's $20-million pledge to help sex workers get out of the industry is "woefully inadequate."

Chief Rick Hanson offered that assessment during the second day of hearings by the House of Commons justice committee on the government's new prostitution bill.

Hanson says the government's five-year commitment amounts to $125,000 a year in Calgary, which is not enough.

He is calling for a national strategy in which Ottawa, the provinces, municipalities and social agencies would work towards abolishing prostitution.

Justice Minister Peter MacKay says the government wants to see the abolition of prostitution through the new bill, which targets demand for sexual services by criminalizing pimps and johns.

The Supreme Court of Canada struck down the existing prostitution law last December and gave the government one year to respond with new legislation.

Organizations: House of Commons, Supreme Court of Canada

Geographic location: Calgary, OTTAWA

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