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Opposition building over escort service

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More than 40 people lined the benches at Monday night’s council meeting to oppose the possibility of an escort service being established in Fort Frances.

They were there in support of Salvation Army envoy Eric Alcock, who presented a petition with more than 300 signatures to council asking it prevent the escort service from operating here.

“I present to your attention a lengthy list of names signed to a petition circulated through certain parts of Fort Frances,” said Alcock.

“Through this clear and definite means, other concerned citizens, some of them who are here tonight, wish to voice similar opposition to the establishment of such a shocking business, which amounts to nothing less than legalized prostitution,” he added.

Alcock listed a number of consequences he feels may arise here as a result of the escort service, including an increase in drug and alcohol abuse, an increase in suicides, and more cases of AIDS and other sexually-transmitted diseases.

“Such consequences will negatively alter the moral fabric of Fort Frances and ultimately will weaken our community,” he warned.

Council passed a resolution referring the subject to the Planning and Development executive committee for a recommendation.

“Personally, I would like to support the views of Mr. Alcock. I certainly support your endeavour,” said Coun. Deane Cunningham.

Mayor Glenn Witherspoon noted the escort service has not officially approached the town to set up a business here.

“They haven’t come above the surface anyway, they haven’t asked for a licence,” he said.

Meanwhile, Alcock said he will continue to drum up community support to prevent the escort service from setting up shop.

“Right now, we have about 350 names and we’ll be continuing to gather names,” he said yesterday.

Council also received a letter from the Fort Frances Ministerial Association voicing strong opposition to the Thunder Bay agency’s plan to establish an escort service here.

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