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Canada Mulling Move to Deny Foreign Strippers Work Permits

Ottawa [cnews.canoe.ca]– After having its panties ruffled in May by proposed legislative amendments that would deny work permits to foreign strippers, Canada’s exotic dancing industry came to City Hall last week to set the record straight.

The Adult Entertainment Association of Canada, which represents 56 strip clubs across Ontario, hosted an information session to safeguard its members should the legislation pass.

“This is one of the professions where there is a worker shortage,” said AEAC executive director Tim Lambrinos, adding many clubs depend on foreign strippers to fill vacant positions.

The proposed amendment to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act would permit immigration officers to reject applications of foreign workers with certain perceived risks, including humiliating and degrading work.

“What we’re going to do is hear from women in the Ottawa region and see what they think,” said Lambrinos. “We’ll see if their job is as humiliating and degrading as (Citizenship and Immigration Minister) Diane Finley says.”

Marina Wilson, a spokeswoman with Citizenship and Immigration Canada, said the legislation is designed to protect exotic dancers from potential exploitation.

However, Lambrinos argues it would be better if the government allowed clubs to self-regulate through organizations such as his. He says clubs in his organization must conduct onsite facility checks, background checks of sponsors and awareness campaigns for workers to ensure fair treatment.

Nepean-Carleton MP Pierre Poilievre said he supports Finley’s efforts.

“Our immigration system should focus on bringing in hard-working, law-abiding people who wait in line and play by the rules,” he said, adding he’ll vote in favour of the legislation.

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