Canada Stripping Visas for Foreign Strippers

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Chris Wattie / Reuters

Canada's Immigration Minister, Jason Kenney

What’s this debate over Canada’s move to ban foreign strippers, escorts and massage-parlor workers really about? On one side, you have the Adult Entertainment Association, which is upset that the government is stripping away a pool of potential moneymaking workers, whereas on the other side, you have the government, which is saying that cutting back on human trafficking and exploitation is at the heart of the decision.

The Conservative Party government’s Immigration Minister, Jason Kenney, announced that starting next month, Canada will no longer renew visas for foreigners working as strippers. Already the government has cut back on how many new visas it grants, down to just 12 in 2011. But it had been continuing to renew previous visas. Not anymore.

(MORE: Is Thailand Losing the Battle Against Human Trafficking?)

Kenney says the decision is part of a larger government effort to crack down on human trafficking, as the Royal Canadian Mounted Police has expressed repeated concerns over the link between escort agencies, brothels and massage parlors and human-trafficking and sexual-exploitation cases.

The move will put hundreds of foreign strippers out of work in Canada and with no valid workers’ permit when their yearlong visas come up for renewal. The Globe and Mail reports that Kenney, in a speech given in Calgary, 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.”

There could be anywhere from 500 to 700 women working in Canada on one-year visas. The Adult Entertainment Association says limiting access to the legal trade hurts the industry and creates a labor shortage. Other opponents of the move say it could have an adverse effect by pushing the industry underground and have threatened to hold workshops at universities to recruit foreign students to the industry, a loophole they plan to exploit.

But stories of repeated exploitation and abuse of exotic dancers in the legal industry have become widespread, according to the Globe and Mail. Women in Canada on a temporary visa are tied to a single employer, giving that employer quasi-power over the individual.

MORE: U.S. Still Grappling with Human Trafficking by War-Zone Contractors

48 comments
StripKing
StripKing

Jason Kenney has no idea what he has done. He cannot put the dancers in the same category as escorts or workers in the brothel industry or massage parlors. He just threw them all together because he is not smart enough to know the difference. By this choice he is putting hundreds of woman out of work. Not to mention all the Canadians working in bars out of work, way to go Idiot. He kind of reminds me a the fat kid at school who always got his lunch money stolen. He is a weak minded puppet of someone hiding in the wings that is too afraid to show himself. He also states that all strip club owners have ties to organized crime or too drug dealers, this  really shows he is a complete moron. Anyway way to go Canada for placing this MORON in charge for putting Canadians out of work

Noone of Consequence
Noone of Consequence

The best way to defend the rights of women is to take away their only means of supporting themselves forcing them to either go broke and become derelict, start working illegally and become criminals, or return destitute to their own countries. Way to go, Canada!

Bruce Miller
Bruce Miller

Morals: U.S. Versus CanadaCanada, a

country of poorer and more recent immigrants "cleans its

streets" regularly. Canadian morality is very high and based in

many religious persuasions, all of which believe that sexploitation

is morally degrading to women and therefore humanity, in any society.

It is our humane vestige from the days before the astounding shift in

the U.S. away from even Christian and Jewish morality to this newer,

and very wrong corporatistic vulture capitalist paradigm where

anything goes as long as ROI gains are realized. Canada is still "on

track" it is the U.S.A. that has slipped from the harnesses of

superior modern civilization only recently, in the last few decades,

and run amok even finding itself in an immoral position, by Canadian

standards, of owing 'poorer countries" some 14 Trillions of U.S.

Dollars - an oxymoronic statement to be sure! But: good clear logic

to the American mind?Canada: Pay high taxes, get communal support

in time of medical needs, all costs paid by your brother and sister

Canadians! Morally correct, even Jesus would approve, and Buddha

certainly does too! Even Islam ! But: in America, where the Great

Corporate American Propaganda Whores' mesmerizations are more

powerful now than even the churches of that country, a very immoral,

'quid pro Quo' perverted to "you can fool everybody some of the

time . . . morality rules? "Rusty Fords, exploding Pinto's,

planned obsolescence mentality? Business ethics long gone? Empire

facing world-wide mistrust? Wars now admitted to being plunder for

oil, not 'spreading democracy' at all? No nukes in Iraq? Nukes in

Iran? Afghanistan still and only for a Halliburton treasured pipeline

and a copper mine now property of China? Even a right wing

extremist conservative Harper government knows: To stay in power you

must appeal to the "Moral Majority" and that is a much

different body of voters than found currently in the U.S.A.The

Great Corporate American Propaganda Whores might find easy pray in

the U.S.A. and are able to undermine the Christian Morality, even

claiming that they have seen far into "Outer Space" and

found “no physical evidence” of the Christian God, But: in Canada

they face Even extensive Hindu religions as well as a spiritually

correct people, Islam, Buddhist and many other religions that do not

heed their silly notions of transferring "Faith" to

"Science" another commonly accepted "logic" in

American minds - somehow relating the tangible, physical, Science to

the intangible Spiritual? - giving them God-like powers as the

procurers of Science? Another Oxymoron logic? Canadians in the face

of their immense and beautiful spiritual environment see beyond this

and seek to preserve their spiritual reality as witnessed every day

in their magnificent country. We are in reality a Socialist Democracy

of very spiritual people, all brothers and sisters, multilingual,

multicultural, from all corners of this Earth, and not swayed easily

by the U.S. media and its proclamations. We will severely punish

those that sell drugs, but in an almost irrational (by U.S.

standards) hospitalize and treat the victims of our policing system's

inadequacies, the drug addicts - morally correct but by the corporate

rules of ROI and the new American morality, astoundingly wrong, where

the false belief that prison sentences cure this social illness?

trueb0b
trueb0b

This is the 2012 version of "Reefer Madness".  This has more to do with the New Puritan philosophy than trafficking.  I know hundreds of strippers (worked in the clubs for years) and have never met one that was forced. I also know dozens of Canadians who sneak around the US visa requirements to work here. This is no different than saying my weed dealer is funding terrorism, it's the governments way of tacking their agenda on to emotional and hot button issues.

Zachary
Zachary

The pimps may threaten to hold 'workshops' in universities to recruit, but I'm sure they'll need permission first, which will probably be denied.

They are angry that foreign women (desperate, poor, away from home, no laguage) who are easier to exploit, will be less accessible.

Zachary
Zachary

*language (of all the words to spell wrong!)

Jojobobo
Jojobobo

So you are trying to tell me that 'human traffickers' uses legal work visas? Sure a minor number may but the vast majority of 'trafficked' women will be illegal. 

siracco
siracco

Burlesque is an art form, would that also fall into this category?

SuperSamBam
SuperSamBam

@LevonTostig Omg!!!! you mean Canadians might not want to lower themselves to stripping!!!! Omg!!! What's Canada going to do with less strippers!!! The whole economy might collapse!!!

weezer999
weezer999

Guido the killer pimp is going to be p1ssed!

northstar60
northstar60

Its 500-700 people a year !  You are not talking enough people to pick your cotton harvest.  Lets talk about something important.

gigotz62
gigotz62

I've seen Canadian women who strip in Canada, they're banning the wrong strippers.

rumorasit
rumorasit

500 to 700 people is all this effects? Did I read that correctly? If so I don't see this as even being a good news story. I don't really understand all the outrage this has generated either.

Theodore Chism
Theodore Chism

This move is pure genius. If there was a stripper working with a legitimate visa, and she's no longer able to renew, what does the government suspect she'll do?  Meekly turn herself in?  Or is it more likely that she'll stay illegally, but now employers will be able to hold her legal status over her head.  It's not hard to see how that might be a coercive force to move a dancer from the stage to more direct forms of exploitation. On the other side of the law, a legal authority or other representative of establishment might discover a stripper's status and she might use the only asset she feels available to escape justice (I don't mean homebaked cookies here).  

  What was the supposed rationale behind this?  Was it reduce trafficking and exploitation? I can't imagine anyone having high confidence in their government if they rationalize decisions this way. I suppose Canadians are more like their American neighbors than I previously thought.

trueb0b
trueb0b

Or she could just go home, since she wouldn't be traveling unless she was a top dancer who already made enough money to pay visa fees, travel and lodging just to show up..

Julius Caesar
Julius Caesar

just modify the visa to any employer ... so the "stripper" is free to work for anyone she pleases and not just anyone who owns her.

casprd
casprd

So by not renewing their visas they are going to make them safer?   Get real.  by doing this they are forcing an already shadowy business more underground than ever.   Now they will become illegal immigrants and be at the mercy of whatever group wants to buy them.   Way to go Canada.  you just made 700 or so women prime targets for sex traffickers. 

MC75
MC75

Very true.  Seeing as Canada has admitted them already (albeit as temporary workers) I would think one right move is to give them a landed immigrant visa as part of this transition of policies.  As I've said in my other comment, if a legal resident chooses this line of work, that's fine and let customers pay the cost.

Notadolt
Notadolt

Again, Canada shows leadership where America falls short. Maybe, eventually, America will have an immigration policy that protects human and national breeders...

Jose DelMadre
Jose DelMadre

In other news, the visas for foreign seamstresses has gone up over 5000% while the sell of sewing needles has actually declined 1%.

HunterST2
HunterST2

There are plenty of pretty Canadian girls to take their places.

D Lee Christy-Photo
D Lee Christy-Photo

They've been trying to OUTLAW Sex for thousands of years and it's not working!!!

The slack will be easily made up by foreign students, Canadians, or illegals.  It's a part of the economy that works.  

kscanuck
kscanuck

It has nothing to do with outlawing sex. It's actually legal to be an escort in Canada. 

Neal Smithline
Neal Smithline

Typical Xenophobia. Migrant workers help the economy. This is the same BS the Americans have about undocumented Latinos. Use a small sample of illegal immigrants to vilify an entire segment of the population. I guess Canadian strippers slept with the politicians to get foreign competition off the market.

Zachary
Zachary

FAIL, Hoards of poor amp; uneducated are a burden, not an asset.

'undocumented Latins", you mean "illegal aliens", right?  LOL, What do you call drug dealers -"unlisenced pharmaicists"!

To be sure, the Canadian Nationals who are strippers being undercut by the desperate, "I'll do more for less" (so mich more grim in this industry than construction, to be sure) migrant workers do not appreciate your generosity to foeriegners with THEIR income.

D Lee Christy-Photo
D Lee Christy-Photo

Neal, it's xenophobia flavored with puritanical poo but disguised as  "protecting women"  - In other words, it's a political crock of bat guano. 

maxwell_2
maxwell_2

Levon, you are low.  Our country and health care system is something you know nothing about, so zip it up before you sound more stupid than stupid.

ellaejlt
ellaejlt

Apparently you don't understand sarcasm in Canada.  He was mocking the US immigration policy.  His comment had absolutely nothing to do with the canadian helathcare system.  Who sounds stupid?

blah123456789
blah123456789

 You still sound stupid, why bring up a U.S problem in a Canadian article? It's like going to a baseball game and then talking about football. Ohhh you're sooo sarcastic hahahaha. Another dumbass

ellaejlt
ellaejlt

You're replying to me, however I'm not the one who made the comment.  But since you replied to my post, I will be happy to point out the absurdity of your comment.  If you cannot understand the correlation between this article and the current US promblems with immigration, you should probably go  back to reading Dr. Suess books.  I'm pretty sure the comparison is clear to the average 8th grader. Please, please tell me that you're not from the US; your grammar is atrocious!  Anyway, it was LevonTostig who made the comment.

Jerry Bourbon
Jerry Bourbon

Any stripper who has no employment after this is welcome to move in with me...

LevonTostig
LevonTostig

So... Canada doesn't like migrant workers, eh?  Don't they realize that these foreign workers are doing ...jobs... that Canadians don't want to lower themselves to?  Really, Canada - what's next?  Are you going to start enforcing your southern border?  Are you going to put up fences and fly drones to keep strippers from crossing over?  They're just looking for a better life, that's all.  Surely you're going to let them partake in your health care system and vote - right?

SuperSamBam
SuperSamBam

@LevonTostig Omg!!!! you mean Canadians might not want to lower themselves to stripping!!!! Omg!!! What's Canada going to do with less strippers!!! The whole economy might collapse!!!

MC75
MC75

Canada accepts many foreign workers - more as a percent than the U.S. does - and makes it much easier for foreign students to work part-time and to remain in Canada upon graduation.  This article is about a particularly exploitive industry.  While I see no reason to ban this industry, it should not be one where those from poorer countries come to richer countries to do it.  Rather, let Canadians do it (and they do a pretty good job!), and let the customers pay what it costs.

Rolando Gruart
Rolando Gruart

Levon you know why there are no Canadian strippers is simple they are working in the US making at least three times what they can make over in Canada I am from the Tampa Bay area in Florida and most of the clubs there have canadian strippers working

nickm
nickm

read the article dumbass

“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.”

Richard_Pietrasz
Richard_Pietrasz

Actually, denying these people visas only makes it easier for unscrupulous employers, and nasty customers, to treat them like dirt.  

Nikki North
Nikki North

You are absolutely correct. As someone who tended bar part time in strip clubs,  I've seen and heard it all. Women will still come to Canada to work in the sex trade, but on student visas, nice *leverage* for their employers to exploit! The current govt.  doesn't have a clue. There was a *reason* the visas were introduced in the first place ~ as *protection* for those already *here* working in the strip clubs.

I could retell a story about a pernicious club owner who had girls from Eastern Europe, working in his Kipling Ave strip club, ladies who didn't *have* visas and were held *hostage*, but hey, the Reform/Alliance govt. knows whats best, right?! 

maxwell_2
maxwell_2

That's right, and god knows what baggage they brought along with them.

LevonTostig
LevonTostig

I see - so you agree with the Canadian government's stance that only Canadian workers should be put at risk of sexual exploitation.

Sort of a, "keep it in the family,"  policy, eh?  How... poetic.

Quite unlike the US where our government will screw anyone.  Seeing your propensity for posteriors, I suppose you go in for that sort of thing.

Brandon Gildea
Brandon Gildea

i think when they say "sexual exploitation" they are referring to human trafficking and use of abducted girls in certain professions that include but are not limited to stripping.

"RCMP has expressed repeated concerns over the link between escort agencies, brothels, and massage parlors in Canada and human trafficking and sexual exploitation cases."

it looks to me like they don't want any sexual exploitation at all and, to them, this is a good way to start. i mean who would you have more power and influence over as someone involved in such crimes? a citizen with ties to the area and friends or family to turn to OR an alien that has none of those things..... just a thought

TimbreTim
TimbreTim

 I think Levon was doing a good job of mocking a liberal attitude about immigration here in America.  Don't be a mad man.

Fred_Evil
Fred_Evil

 No, he wasn't mocking a 'liberal' attitude, he was mocking a pro-illegal attitude.

This LIBERAL has a major problem with the ongoing illegal situation, don't pretend all liberals love illegals, that's like saying all Catholics love pedophile priests!

Brandon Gildea
Brandon Gildea

yes i think he was , but when it comes to sarcasm/satire you have to realize that sarcasm is extremely hard to convey through typed messages and  has to be relevant. unfortunately i don't see this article on REDUCING HUMAN TRAFFICKING in Canada  and   immigration of the minimum wage labor force in the United States to share any similarities. In one case the very people that are working are the ones that are being harmed and in the other its the people working that are taking jobs from citizens and doing the harm,  therefore it might have made sense for his comment on an article that was about how rednecks in  Canada are crying "they took our jobs" and trying to pass laws that help profile all foreigners, the very type of people that built this country, because the people that benefit from the freedoms we have today (because of our immigrant ancestors) are sick and tired of sharing....  

Jose DelMadre
Jose DelMadre

he was mocking the united states attitude towards immigration. you were so dense you only caught half of it.