November 02, 2005

Canadian work visas for...foreign strippers?

MP tears strip off Liberals, Feds continue to allow exploitation, Tory says.

The Liberal government is "complicit" in the trafficking of women with a visa policy that fast-tracks foreign strippers and lap dancers, a Conservative MP charged yesterday.

Diane Ablonczy accused the government of misleading Canadians last year when it claimed to be "cancelling" the controversial policy of issuing temporary work permits to exotic dancers based on a labour market opinion from the Human Resources department.

But the "sordid truth" is that the welcome mat is still rolled out to foreign strippers, she told the House, citing a Sun story over the weekend.

"Canadians made the mistake of believing the Liberals. Now it comes out this government is still sanctioning the recruitment of vulnerable women, knowing full well many of them will be abused and exploited," she said.


Human Resources Minister Belinda Stronach defended the government's practice, insisting there is no "blanket approval" for exotic dancers. Since the government changed its policy last December, her department assesses requests from employers on an "individual case-by-case basis."

"We are required to issue a labour market opinion for any legal profession in this country," she told the Commons.

Canada's stripper visa policy has come under fire from the U.S. and international anti-trafficking groups for opening the door to the exploitation of women.

Posted by Kyer at November 2, 2005 08:19 PM | TrackBack