CANADA: Strippers Stripped of Work Visas: Kenney – It’s Time to Patrol Our Borders and Stop International Sex Trafficking In and Out of America Too

By Jessica Hume, Parliamentary Bureau

Monday, June 11, 2012 5:28:11 EDT PM
(Errol McGihon/QMI Agency)

OTTAWA – With the passage of its massive budget Bill C-38, the government says it will end giving work visas to foreign strippers once and for all.

In Opposition, Stephen Harper was against a Liberal program that effectively expedited work permits for foreigners intending to work in the adult entertainment industry.

Though the Conservatives trashed that program soon after taking office, roughly 100 of those visas have been renewed each year since 2006.

“The problem is, under the current Immigration Act we don’t have the legal authority to deny people visas based on the industry they’re working in,” Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Jason Kenney said. “Now we have the power, which we’ll begin using as soon as those regulations are done this summer, to deny visas to people who we think … might have a high chance of trafficking or exploitation.”

Together with other legislation passed this year, provisions under Bill C-38 will take it one step further — all existing temporary work visas to foreign-born strippers will be cancelled, all new applications will be denied and all “open” work visa holders will be barred from working in the adult entertainment industry.

Asked if this could result in mass deportations, an immigration ministry spokesperson said, “We don’t comment on hypotheticals.”

Strippers vow not to take these changes lying down.

Tim Lambrinos, president of the Adult Entertainment Association of Canada, is considering challenging the legislation, saying it will only drive these women to work underground.

“When I say ‘exotic’ what do you think of?” he asked. “Foreign, right? Non-indigenous. That’s the kind of entertainment people want to see.”

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