Oct 7/10 - Pt 2: Letters

It's mail day. We find out what you've had to say about our coverage of last week's Ontario court ruling over prostitution. And we hear from a woman who works with prostitutes to find out what effect she thinks the ruling will have on the women who work in the sex trade.



Gillian Findlay joined Anna Maria today in studio for our weekly look at the mail. Gillian is, of course, Co-Host of The Fifth Estate on CBC Television. She's also a pretty familiar voice on The Current. And she'll be our Friday Host for the next few weeks.

Chloe Atkins: When Chloe Atkins was twenty years old, she had surgery. But when she woke up she was inexplicably incapacitated. She was subjected to a list of medical tests to try to find the reason and she was finally told it was a "conversion reaction" -- that her body was turning a psychological trauma into physical symptoms. Her illness was finally diagnosed accurately when she was in her thirties. She has myasthenia gravis, an auto-immune disease for which there is a treatment.

After hearing her story, we heard other personal accounts that we shared today. On of those letters was from Edith Strauss of Vancouver. We called her to hear more about her story. In the mid-seventies she suffered from endometriosis, which causes excruciating abdominal pains. For months she was given the run-around and told to see a psychiatrist but after a second laparoscopy her condition was finally diagnosed.

Prostitution Law: Last week a group of sex trade workers in Ontario won a major victory as three key parts of Canada's prostitution laws were struck down by the Ontario Supreme Court. In particular, it was the parts that made it illegal to keep a common bawdy house, to communicate for the purposes of prostitution ... and to live off of the avails of prostitution.

Last week on the program, we heard from Joy Smith. She's a Conservative MP who disagrees with the direction of these changes. And we heard a lot more in the mail. Including a letter from Esther Shannon who felt The Current was not balanced on this issue and she felt equivalent broadcast time to those in favour of the Ontario court decision should have been part of our broadcast.

So with that in mind, we were joined by Kara Gillies. She is the education co-ordinator at Maggie's, the Toronto Sex Workers Action Project. It's a non-profit organization that supports Toronto's sex workers.

The Caregiver: Yesterday we brought you a documentary called The Caregiver by The Current's Documentary Editor Dick Miller. When Susan Bosak's father suffered a serious stroke and heart attack, she was forced to make some big decisions. But instead of putting her parents into a long term care facility, Susan decided to bring them into her home. With the support of her brother and husband, Susan cared for her parents.

The story was very emotional. And after hearing it yesterday, it weighed on Anna Maria. And it was nice to hear that others felt the same. We read some of those letters.

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