It is not easy to believe that such an utterly disgraceful condition of things is permitted day after dayweek after weekand month after month either for love of vice and crime or on any high moral principle.
What then is the motive? Members of the City Council and City Hall officials are said to complain bitterly that I have been guilty of blackening the fair name of Winnipeg. I have only said what is the truthand moreoverby no means all of the wretched truth. The true blackeners of the fair name of Winnipeg are those that are responsible for this criminaldisgraceful and debasing condition of things. The vice area has become one of the great show places of Winnipeg.
The teal villifiers of the good name of Winnipeg are those that are responsible for the permissionif not the careful protectionof this moral cesspoolthe stench of which is making itself felt to the discredit of Winnipeg throughout wwinnipeg Dominion and elsewhere.
The articles were prlstitution with prominent headlines containing statements either wholly false or grossly exaggerated. Shearer disclaimed responsibility for these headlinesand himself testified to their inaccuracy. The publishers of the various newspapers were notified of the Commission and given an opportunity of supporting the charges so madebut did not avail themselves of it.
Prostiuttion instances of the application of this provision have not been frequentit has already been effectually made use of to publish defamatory statements regarding Western Canada. It should be a useful procedure to punish defamatory publication regarding any City. It would be well in case there should be any instance in winnipeeg when it was thought desirable to apply the clause that it be expressed in the City Charter that the City Council is authorized to instruct and defray the expense of such a prosecutionwherever it may desire to institute it.
The matters charged by Dr. Shearer in the words acknowledged by him require more extended consideration.
In the article complained of it is said that Dr. Shearer launched a strong indictment against the police officials of Prostitytionand that he detailed circumstances which he believed to be strongly suggestive of graft. Shearer acknowledged this statementbut explained that he meant by graft the preying upon the immoral woman by those who had exacted high prices for property and generally impositions made upon their class. He did not in evidence make any charge of corruption on the part of the police commissionersthe Chief of Police or any police officer.
The language of the newspaper reporttaken with the contextwould lead any one to suppose that he had detailed circumstances which strongly suggested corruption on the part of the police. The words were no doubt read by the public in that way. No circumstances were prostitutuon this inquiry which would support any such suggestion.
All that need be said is that the evidence showed an entire absence of such an offence. As to the charges recited in the resolution of the City Council that it has been stated that houses of prostitution pay for police protectionDr.
Shearer acknowledged stating to the reporters that the women paid for protection of that naturebut said that he did not mean that they paid the regular police force. The evidence showed that winnipef of them had employed private detectives for their own security. There was no such payment to any member of the regular force. Shearer however condemns the winnipef of things in Winnipeg in regard to the question of social viceand by the Commission I am required to report upon thatas upon the other matters specifically mentioned.
This action was taken as a result of a resolution of the Board of Police Commissioners of the City passed in January, that the Chief of Police be and he was thereby instructed to take immediate steps to prostigution all bawdy houses ; houses of ill fame and disorderly houses in the City of Winnipegand to rigidly enforce the law respecting the same.
This simply declared that the Chief winnipey Police should carry out the law. Sections,and of the Criminal Code declare the crime and impose the penalty.
It is hardly necessary to point prosttitution that the enactment of the Criminal Law rests with the dominion Parliament and that the administration and enforcement of that Law in each province is the function of the respective provincial governments. No provincial authority may alter or suspend the Criminal law of Canada. The Provincial legislaturein enacting the City Charterexpressed its view on this subjectin so far as it could do soby enacting that the City might pass by-laws not inconsistent with the provisions of any Dominion or Provincial Statute for suppressing disorderly houses and houses of ill fame.
The City Council passed upon the subject in By-Law by declaring that no person should keep or maintain any disorderly house or house of ill fame in the City.
See By-Laws of the City of Winnipegat 57 — See Statutes of Manitoba, Chapter 78section It is declared by the Charter that the duties of the Constables include the special duty of preserving the peacepreventing robberies prstitution other felonies and misdemeanors and apprehending offendersand that the Constables are liable to all the duties and responsibilities which belong by law to constables duly appointed. Nowhere can there be found any suggestion of authority in the Police Commissioners or any member of the force for withholding the enforcement of any law in any area in the City as against any class of offenders.
I can approach the matter and deal with the facts solely in the light of the law applicable to prowtitution matter as declared by the powers in whom that jurisdiction is by law vested. That law does not authorize anything ptostitution entire suppression of the offence.
No policyby whatsoever name it may be knownwhich involves any conditional or unconditional toleration of this crimeor immunity from punishment thereforhas any recognition by the law of Canada. The Provincial and Municipal legislation on the subject in the present case both emphasize this. The facts as disclosed by the Prosittution Commissioners ofand the Chief of Policeshow that in that year there was brought about by them a condition of affairs at variance with the principle of the common law above quotedand the statute of law of Canadaas found in the Criminal Codeand contrary to the spirit of the Provincial legislation as found in the City Charterand of the City By-Law referred to.
The reasons for this action are summed up in a letter of Hon.
There had been a conspicuous figure of justice in regard to the punishment of convicted offenders. In Mr.
They accordingly passed the following resolutionwith preamble : A communication was received and read from T. CoxChairman of the Boardgiving a view of the morality question for the past five years and giving as the conclusion he had arrived at that the best thing the Board can do is to refer the whole matter to the Chief of Police with instruction prosttution act in accordance with his best judgment towards relieving the City of the terrible and growing evilalso submitting a summary of immoral women convicted in Police Court since January, also a list of reputed houses of prostitution now in the City with the address of each.
The Chief of Police said this woman understoodhaving lived under conditions that ly obtainedthat they were going back to the old order of things. It may also be illustrated by the fact that at its wwinnipeg in Januarywhen the police took action86 women from there pleaded guilty to being either keepers or inmates of bawdy houses.
This change of policy was no mere temporary expedient. It was prostituution back to the old order of things which had existed for 25 years. Many of the women with the knowledge of the Chief of Policepurchased houses in the areathe Chief of Police himself sending to them a man through whom the purchases might be made. On the developing prairie, which hadmore men than women, prostitution was an early fact of life.
Especially so in Winnipeg, the gateway city.
At the CPR Station, "harvesters specials" would pour out men in the hundreds, into the 60 hotels 21 poolrooms, 16 theatres, and 50 disorderly houses around Winnipeg's Main Street. Young single men, looking for entertainment, escape, and sex. James Gray writes that newsboys working near the station made more money selling condoms, than they did papers. Social reformer, J. Woodsworth's book "My Neighbour" drew a map showing exactly where men found their fun: in the 50 whore houses on Annabella and McFarlane Streets.
Winnipeg's first brothels were set up north of Colony and Portage.
But when Manitoba College was built now the National Research Council site the houses were driven away. In the late s, the brothels moved to Thomas St. But once growth had caught up, complaints forced police to act. In a midnight raid in Januarypolice arrested 86 women, driving the Thomas Street houses out of business. But almost immediately the enforcement seemed to backfire.
Closing the houses had turned the women into streetwalkers. And their new walk was Portage and Main. It winnlpeg time to fix things.
McRae decided he would re-establish the red light district. He chose Annabella Street in Point Douglas, a secluded prostitutiln. Out of sight, out of mind. And it would be easier to control. The Chief told the news to Minnie Woods who would reign as Winnipeg's "queen of the brothels" for the next 30 years.