Strippers dress down Ottawa over new rules

Bill designed to prevent exploitation of foreign workers targets them, group says

From Thursday's Globe and Mail

A group of strip club owners and performers says exotic dancers are being singled out by legislation designed to prevent exploitation of foreign workers - and they are drawing up a list of changes they want to see made to the bill.

The Adult Entertainment Association of Canada, which lists 51 member Ontario strip clubs on its website, held a public meeting in Toronto yesterday on Bill C-57.

If passed, it will amend the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act to give officials the power to turn down work permits for foreigners if it is suspected they are at risk of being exploited or abused.

And while the legislation applies to all lines of work, strip club employees who attended yesterday's meeting said they believe the bill is aimed at their profession.

"I don't understand how this woman has the right to deny people the right to come into our country and work," said Amanda Hamilton, referring to Citizenship and Immigration Minister Diane Finley.

Several dozen people showed up to the meeting, at least three-quarters of them women.

Ms. Hamilton, who said she has been an exotic dancer for the past seven years, guessed that 75 per cent of her fellow co-workers are from other countries and are concerned about how the new legislation might affect the renewal of their work permits.

"I'm sure they are quite fearful of speaking up," she said. "I'm sure they have families at home that they are supporting."

Several other women who spoke at the meeting also said they, too, had concerns about their livelihood if the legislation comes into effect.

Association spokesman Tim Lambrinos said the government is "picking an industry out which is a legal occupation, which is a legitimate business and they are targeting it to close it down."

Tim Vail, press secretary for Ms. Finley, said the bill, indeed, targets the abuse of strip club workers, but added he would not comment on any specific risks the government has identified with the profession.

"The bill was drafted specifically to protect [against] the exploitation of foreign workers coming in and strippers were cited as one of the predominant industries where that happens," Mr. Vail said yesterday.

Audrey Macklin, a law professor at the University of Toronto, said that the proposed law would only do so much.

"It may close that door of lawful entry... but it would be naive to believe that closing this door to lawful entry would result in the non-entry of women and others who are trafficked," she said.

Mr. Lambrinos said his group hopes to bring its list of proposed bill amendments - still to be determined as it conducts further public meetings in Windsor and Niagara Falls later this month - to an immigration subcommittee in September.

So far, the bill has made it through two readings in the House of Commons and is now undergoing a committee review. It still requires an additional review as well as a third reading before it can be voted into law.


Our commentary in the Globe and Mail

August 15, 2007


Ottawa Mens, from Ottawa, Canada wrote: Ottawa’s proposed stripper bill is commendable. There are next to no qualifications required to be an “exotic dancer” and “exotic dancers” and prostitution have a connection that is degrading to women and opens the door for criminals to take advantage of.
Normal immigrants to Canada have to qualify the normal way. The issuing of immigration visa’s for strippers means that any woman wishing to immigrate to Canada has a choice, wait years and spend thousands of dollars or be prepared to become a prostitute and get into Canada fast. Canada has a moral, legal and fiduciary duty to recognize that there is an unacceptable unwritten offensive degrading item in the job description of “exotic dancer” that is contrary to Canadian values that should not be an “optional” fast track way of immigrating to Canada. 613-797-3237




It also looks and sounds like an attempt to "legalize prostitution" There cannot be a double standard. While prostitution is illegal, it cannot and will never be stamped out. Yes, there is a need for legal prostitution but under very strict conditions and it should not be a profession that gains any points in becoming an immigrant or even temporary worker to Canada. To do so would be an insult to most women especially Canadian women who were born  in other countries. Allowing "strippers visas" is a very blatant way of doing by the back door what is not allowed by the front door. Immigrants, women and men need to be treated with respect. Canada needs to start by opening up substantive number of university places for foreign women to obtain equivalent professional qualifications. Obviously, determined professional women in other countries will decide to prostitute themselves via a “strippers visa” in order to get that foot on the ground in Canada when otherwise their odds of getting even a visitors visa is entirely remote. Women, especially foreign women who are susceptible to abuse need to be protected and the eradication of stripers visas is the only way that Canada can show vulnerable women the respect they deserve. 613-797-3237


Why is there a need for prostitution? Because many men are afraid of the liability and the risk of being destroyed in family court by feminist judges and extreme feminist lawyers hell bent on destroying me. I’ve lost count of the number of divorced men who after going the meat grinder of family court end up never seeing their children again or being reduced from the role of an active involved parent into an occasional visitor. Just watch Justice Denis Power of Ottawa in action for example. Men choose prostitution because they are afraid of the liability of more children and of being ckreued  over a second time. The only solution is for parliament to legislate a presumption of equal parenting after separation and that will encourage functional heterosexual relationships that are necessary for the production of children which is the only way Canada can reduce its negative population growth which unless altered stands to cause increasingly negative effects to the Canadian economy. Canada needs to fix the problem not tend to the effects. That means, encourage normal heterosexual relationships, show respect to the institution of marriage and, show respect to women by removing stripper aka prostitute from the professions eligible for temporary and permanent visas. 613-797-3237