The media is reporting that once Bill C-38 passes, the Conservative government has indicated that it will stop issuing work visas to foreign strippers. One of the more insightful reports on the issue is from the Adult Video News’ Ann Oui, who wrote:
“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,” reported the Sun.
In spite of the clamor by conservatives, while in power they reportedly granted 496 permits to foreign exotic dancers between 2006 and 2011, and renewed a relatively paltry 100. For Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Jason Kenney, who is blaming the opposition for blocking efforts to amend current law, the number is beside the point.
“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,” he said.
That is quite an odd rationalization, however, considering the visas he wants to deny are specifically for work in adult entertainment, which would hardly be the case if the individuals were being illegally trafficked rather than imported as professionals already experienced in the same line of work.
Similarly, cancelling current visas is hardly consistent with his alleged reasons for wanting the law, but it is certainly consistent with the strategy of moralistic politicians who must wrap their abusive laws in altruism, like all wolves in sheep’s clothing.
If passed as expected, the new stricter visa provisions will certainly hamper the ability of non-Canadian feature dancers to travel legally to the Canada to work, but on the flip side it may open up more opportunities for homegrown talent…
Indeed, judging by the comments in the generally conservative readership of the Sun, most people can see through the purported human trafficking justifications to the paternalistic nanny-state-ism behind the rumoured change.
[UPDATE – March 13, 2013]
Indeed, as the following Inquiry of Ministry document dated June 8, 2012, acknowledges, the Conservatives did not actually appear to have had any facts or statistics for their assertion that employees of these businesses were more likely than others to be victims of human trafficking. (This document was obtained through an Access to Information and Privacy Act request.)
This can be contrasted with the Conservative Government’s Media Lines on the matter, which were also obtained through an Access to Information and Privacy Act request