Daily Brew

Alberta MLA caught in U.S. hooker sting gets ringing endorsement – from hookers

Daily Brew

This is probably support Mike Allen can do without.

The northern Alberta MLA who quit the governing Progressive Conservative caucus after being arrested in a U.S. prostitution sting last summer is getting backing from perhaps an unwelcome quarter – prostitutes.

Something called the Canadian Adult Entertainment Commission says Allen wouldn't be in hot water if he'd dealt with his, ah, needs back home in Canada, instead of while on government business in St. Paul, Minn.

Prostitution is legal in Canada (though solicitation is not), and Alberta sex workers "are pleased to consider respectful requests for personal services," the group said in a news release.

"In addition, sex workers in Mr. Allen's riding of Fort McMurray-Wood Buffalo want him to continue as their MLA," said the release. "We feel he made a mistake taking his business out of Alberta to puritan St. Paul, Minnesota, but sex workers in his constituency are still pleased to have an MLA who values the services they offer."

[ Related: Alberta MLA Mike Allen charged in U.S. prostitution sting ]

Allen, 51, was arrested in July by St. Paul police who'd set up a sting operation. Allen, in the city to attend a legislative conference, was snared when he called a number listed in an online erotic ad and set up a meeting with what turned out to be a female undercover officer, according to court documents obtained by The Canadian Press.

He was charged with soliciting a prostitute, a gross misdemeanour that carries a maximum one-year jail sentence and a US$3,000 fine, CP said.

As soon as he was released from custody, Allen phoned home and resigned from the Tory caucus. He now sits as an independent.

“From what I can tell, he has done a great job as an MLA and loves his community,” Susan Davis of the Vancouver-based sex workers' group told Fort McMurray Today.

“We feel like he needs a little support when everyone is being so mean to him, that we shouldn't judge a person's reasons for wanting intimacy.”

It's not likely Allen will embrace, as it were, the support of Davis's group. He claimed he still opposes the sex trade.

“I still believe that the exploitation of women, the proceeds to organized crime and human trafficking, those are all a significant burden on society,” Allen told Today a week after his arrest.

“It’s never been a part of my past and I can assure you that, from this experience, it won’t be a part of my future.”

So how did Allen, who was married 26 years but separated from his wife for the last four, explain his arrest? He was lonely after breaking up with his girlfriend a few months ago.

“It’s not an excuse, certainly not an excuse,” he told Today. “But personal circumstances led to my decision to do this and I am just devastated as a result.”

[ Related: Should the Supreme Court of Canada legalize brothels? ]

Davis suggested Allen was less than candid about his real views on the sex trade.

“Clearly he doesn’t think it’s that bad if he was going to purchase sex," she said. "We need someone to say this is not exploitation, it is a consensual activity and we should allow the sex industry to operate in an open way."

According to St. Paul police, Allen rolled up in a limo at the motel honey trap and agreed to pay $200 for sex with two prostitutes.

Opposition leaders have called for Allen to resign his seat.

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