More hookers arrested; suspicious package on Bank St; other news


In their ongoing arrest blitzes, Ottawa Police Services arrested 24 people on the weekend of Oct 15. They were specifically targetting street-level prostitution, according to an Oct 17 release. Seven of the 10 men arrested qualified for John School. The other three men and 14 women were charged with prostitution-related offenses, drug offences and with violating probation.

A year ago, Ottawa Police announced a pilot program for “street crimes,” which includes monthly street sweeps. Uniformed and plain-clothes officers, often working in “lure and catch” teams, solicit and then arrest people involved with sex work. Teams use a female officer posing as a prostitute or a male officer posing as a john as bait.


A late-night scare closed a portion of the already-battered Bank St Oct 25 after police began investigating a suspicious package at the corner of Bank and Nepean.

The intersection was closed at approximately 10:30pm. Firefighters were also dispatched to help deal with the package and the corner was closed to both cars and pedestrians. Shortly after 1am, police announced that the suspicious package contained concrete core samples and the street was re-opened.


More than 2,000 queers marched up Davie St Oct 12 holding hands in solidarity with Jordan Smith, who was gaybashed last month in Vancouver’s gay village. Smith could not attend the Join Hands for Justice rally since he was out of town and his jaw is still wired shut.

According to police, Smith, 27, was walking along Davie St hand-in-hand with another man when a group of four young men allegedly approached them, screamed obscenities about their sexual orientation, then knocked Smith unconscious with a blow to the head.

The Join Hands for Justice rally, co-organized by The Centre and Little Sister’s co-owner Jim Deva, made its way under a canopy of rainbow flags from the corner of Denman and Davie Sts up Davie to Hornby. There, on an improvised stage backed by glitter-enhanced rainbow colours, speakers took turns expressing their support for Smith and condemning violence against queers.
—Natasha Barsotti

Keep Reading

Job discrimination against trans and non-binary people is alive and well

OPINION: A study reveals that we have a long way to go to reach workplace equality for trans and non-binary people

The new generation of gay Conservative sellouts

OPINION: Melissa Lantsman’s and Eric Duncan’s refusals to call out their party’s transphobia is a betrayal of the LGBTQ2S+ community

Over 300 anti-LGBTQ2S+ bills have been introduced this year. This doesn’t mean we should panic

OPINION: While it’s important to watch out for threats, not all threats are created equally. Some of these bills will die a natural death

Xtra’s top LGBTQ2S+ stories of the year

The best and brightest—even most bewildering—stories from a back catalogue brimming with insight