News/Canada: Canada tries to break the habit

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Subject: News/Canada: Canada tries to break the habit
From: Melanie Orhant (morhant@igc.org)
Date: Mon Jul 03 2000 - 15:29:36 EDT


Canada tries to break the habit
Foreign strippers are posing as nuns, officials say
By Tom Godfrey
Toronto Sun, May 9, 2000

Holy smokes! "Nuns" coming here from Ukraine have a dirty habit of taking
it all off in Toronto-area girlie bars, immigration officials warn.

Nightclub insiders say Canada has shut its doors to foreign strippers and
women are finding clever ways of getting here, including posing as nannies,
babysitters or even clergy.

Canadian embassy officials in Kiev have told immigration authorities here
there's a new trend of strippers posing as nuns to get around tough rules
to travel here to work.

In a confidential document, Kiev embassy staffer Marlene Massey said
officers refused visas to a group of "nuns" travelling to Canada because
they were exotic dancers in disguise.

'MAY HAVE MISSED OTHERS'

"We refused them," Massey said. "We may have missed some others."

Federal immigration spokesman Peter Lamey said legitimate nuns don't
require work permits.

"We have a different approach for processing nuns or anyone in the clergy,"
Lamey said. "They are exempted under the Immigration Act."

He said there are no checks conducted to determine if the "nuns" actually
work in a church upon arrival.

"Our officers are pretty observant," Lamey said. "They watch out for a lot
of things abroad."

However, officials of the Adult Entertainment Association of Canada said
the flow of foreign strippers has been closed off and those women are using
innovative ways to get here.

'BIG DEMAND' HERE

"The money is here and dancers will always find ways to get here," said
association president Sorin Cohn. "There's a big demand for dancers in
Canada."

Ottawa has almost stopped foreign dancers from coming here to work by
imposing tough restrictions, which means women must have a portfolio and
prove they're dancers.

"Dancers create jobs and make a contribution to Canadian society," Cohn
said. "Sure, you will find one or two bad apples in the bunch."

He said Ontario strip clubs could use at least 1,000 more strippers to meet
the demand.

Most of the dancers are brought in from Russia, Hungary, Ukraine and
Central and South America. Many are promised modelling jobs but end up
stripping.
Melanie Orhant <<morhant@igc.org>>
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