- Immigrants intending to work for strip clubs, escort services and massage parlors will from Saturday no longer be able to get temporary work permits
- Industry responds by saying it will recruit international students to circumvent the ban
Foreign strippers will be banned from baring their breasts and performing onstage in Canada from Saturday.
Immigrants intending to work for strip clubs, escort services and massage parlors in the country 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’.
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.
But it is feared that the move will lead to an increase in illegal immigration and that many strippers will seek work in the underground sex trade rather than leave Canada.
Several clubs now say they only hire homegrown talent.
Others say they will circumvent the new legislation by recruiting international students to perform, as foreign students are allowed to work-part time and exotic dancing is a legal profession.
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 labour shortage. You may see Adult Entertainment Association workshops in the University of Ottawa, the University of Toronto, Ryerson, George Brown.’
The legislation was included in an omnibus budget bill passed last month.
The government’s failed 2007 attempt to ban foreign strippers drew catcalls from Canadian club owners who said they relied on hiring women from Eastern Europe and Asia to entertain their guests.
One club owner said at the time: ‘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.’
Mr 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.’
Canada’s human resources ministry yesterday also unveiled new rules that will effectively prevent employers linked to the sex trade from hiring temporary foreign workers.