Starting on Saturday, immigrants hoping to work for strip clubs, escort services, or massage parlors in Canada will no longer be able to get temporary work permits. The policy change, announced by Immigration Minister Jason Kenney yesterday, aims “to protect vulnerable foreign workers from the risk of abuse and exploitation in sex trade related businesses.”
The change was included in the budget bill passed last month.
Yesterday, Canada’s human resources ministry also announced new rules that will prevent employers in the sex trade from hiring temporary foreign workers.
The government made an attempt to ban foreign strippers in 2007, but failed after Canadian club owners said that they relied on hiring women from Eastern Europe and Asia.
Kenney has previously said: “The government cannot in good conscience continue to admit temporary foreign workers to work in businesses in sectors where there are reasonable grounds to suspect a risk of sexual exploitation.”
In 2007, a club owner said of foreign strippers: “They’re beautiful, exotic and very professional.”
Banning them from Canada just leaves them with fewer options to escape a life of poverty in their home country.
Although many clubs only hire Canadian workers, some clubs said that they will try to escape the new rules. A possible solution is recruiting international students to perform, since foreign students are allowed to work part-time.
Tim Labrinos, of the Adult Entertainment Association of Canada, told TheGlobeandMail.com: “The word exotic means foreign, and that’s what people want to see.”
They’re destroying the industry by creating a labor shortage. You may see Adult Entertainment Association workshops in the University of Ottawa, the University of Toronto, Ryerson, George Brown.
Labrinos said there are more than 700 dancers currently working in Canada on one-year visas.
Under the new legislation, they will not have their temporary work visas renewed.