News/Canada: Foreign peelers crucial, say clubs

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Subject: News/Canada: Foreign peelers crucial, say clubs
From: Melanie Orhant (morhant@igc.org)
Date: Thu May 25 2000 - 08:28:31 EDT


Foreign peelers crucial, say clubs
By Tom Godfrey
Toronto Sun, May 10, 2000

Toronto-area strip-club owners say they'll do anything to persuade Ottawa
to allow more foreign strippers into the country to help keep their clubs
afloat.

Members of two burlesque associations said they would pay for immigration
officers to monitor the women, allow random spot checks of clubs and even
create a toll-free phone line for dancers with problems.

Peter Psihogios, of the Ontario Adult Entertainment Association, said
unless Ottawa deals with the situation, dancers will slip into the country
disguised as nuns, nannies or babysitters.

"We will bend over backwards to help the government," Psihogios said. "The
dancer shortage is having a serious economic impact on us."

BUSINESS DOWN

He said clubs in the GTA are short about 1,000 dancers and business is down
about 50% at some clubs and a few girlie bars have even been forced to close.

"All the clubs are competing for girls," Psihogios said. "There's no new
stock coming in because immigration stopped them all."

Tough immigration rules requiring strippers to have portfolios have almost
stopped the flow of strippers from Eastern Europe and Central and South
America.

"Clubs are stealing dancers from each other," Psihogios said. "We just
can't compete anymore."

He said the women should be given a temporary social insurance number and
taxed while working here.

CRISIS LINE

Sorin Cohn, of the Adult Entertainment Association of Canada, said club
owners are willing to pay for two immigration officers to monitor the
dancers here, permit random checks of clubs and homes of the dancers to
ensure they're not being exploited and create a toll-free number for
strippers in trouble.

Cohn said the contracts for strippers will also be drawn up so they can be
cancelled and the girls sent home for not living up to their conditions.

"We are trying to make the business more legitimate," he said. "We should
know what the girls are doing at all times."

Immigration spokesman Peter Lamey said his officials will ensure the women
comply with the terms of the work permits while here.
Melanie Orhant <<morhant@igc.org>>
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