Exotic Dancers and Sex Workers need not apply: No more Canadian work visas

As reported by CBC Immigration Minister Jason Kenny and Human Resources Minister Diane Finley have teamed up against foreign strippers and sex workers, making it policy to deny them postive Labor Market Opinions and Work Permits.  

This means exotic dancers need not apply if they are foreigners. And for those already in Canada on work visas, your time is running out. Your stay in Canada expires soon and better start packing.

Exotic dancers being issued work visas have been on the books for some time. Many have come to Canada in order to get a second shot or depending on from where they come, a first shot.  Life in their home countries offer little by way of education, career advancement and a future. Now I know what you are thinking: Working as a stripper in Canada is a better option for these women? What kind of future is that?

Well do the math. Working as a stripper allows them to save, go to school and yes eventually get out of the business  all together. These foreign workers do not usually see stripping as an end but as a means to something better. Do all of them make it? Probably not.  Maybe some do not want to get out of the business.  But it’s the opportunity that attracts these women.  And so for them Canada is (was) the land of opportunity.

But that was then. Now such applicants will have to look elsewhere for their dreams to come true. The government’s justification for ending the exotic dancer program  is that these women are vulnerable to being exploited. Fair enough. But who should be punished? The women? Or the employers? Is it Canada’s job to protect foreign workers by refusing them visas?

I think what is really behind the government initiative is political. The voting public, the government calculates, will support this move.  The voting right will agree that all forms of sex trade work is immoral and therefore should be banned. If the Charter of Rights makes it difficult to go after Canadian strippers, let’s “save” the foreigners and Canadians who buy such services by legislating them out of existence.

On the left, there are those who believe that working in the exotic entertainment industry is by definition exploitive; that if you work as a stripper, you are being abused, degraded and demeaned as a woman.

Members of both sides of the political fence are in agreement that a) these woman must be protected from some form of harm and b) it is the government’s job to protect them. and that c) the sex trade workers are by virtue of their occupation vulnerable such that preemptive  government intervention i.e., shutting them out of the visa process is a reasonable means of protection and is in the best interests of Canadians.

I am all for protecting workers, foreign or domestic, from abuse, mistreatment and exploitation. However,  equating sex trade work with abuse, as the government does, goes too far. Canada is supposed to be a democratic country. What comes with that is the freedom for people to choose alternative lifestyles, options and yes jobs. The premise of a free society is that citizens are grown ups, not children.

In other words, the state has no place in our bedrooms nor in our strip clubs.




Michael Niren

About Michael Niren

Michael is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto. He is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Canadian Bar Association’s Citizenship and Immigration Section and the Associate Member of the American Bar Association. Read more

3 thoughts on “Exotic Dancers and Sex Workers need not apply: No more Canadian work visas

  1. anonymous

    i was doing the job that Canadian people don’t want to do i was doing the hard work on raining days and cold weather
    i worked mines of -20 and -30 mines on cold winter weather
    and i did worked as plus 37 on summer time

    i was doing construction work and all my family and friends who got deported from Canada
    we got deported for doing nothing wrong we just work harder to boom our lives and give to our children a better life overseas
    we got deported and Canada years after said they need construction workers and the economy loses over 1.5 Billion dollars unpaid tax

    Canada deported us for been construction workers with no crime made

    we construction workers arrives in Canada doing the jobs that Canadians don’t want to do and none other nation works on construction

    we had been descriminated we had been called names like unskilled we had been joked on TV and Radios in Canada and USA

    and was us who build a half of Canada

    Canada has descriminated and racist agaisnt us

    Canada gov still deporting illegal immigrant from construction when hundreds of sex workers are illegal living and working on massage and strip clubs and never will be deported from Canada

  2. anonymous

    MR Michael Niren

    i am one of the immigrants who got deported from Canada i was lied and raped from one consultant.
    She said to us she was immigration lawyer and she got power to put anyone legal in Canada
    she took our money and lied to use of promissing we will get our permanent resident cards

    what we got was our deportation order of Canada for life
    we are outside of Canada for 10 years now we never get one letter by immigration or the consultant explained our deportation or how we can return in Canada
    its all business ring in Canada Goverment knows this and do nothing to stop it
    many lawyers are taking immigrates money with lies and after couple or few years they get deported like me

    About sex workers now
    Canada never will get ride of this 95% of sex workers are students
    they come in Canada with false student visas to be sex workers
    many of them arrives in Canada as tourist and become sex worker
    many Canadian citizens are sex workers to pay the school fees and buy house and cars

    95% of sex workers coming in Canada with no money and they get a degree
    each student needs at least $1000 for month
    $1000 monthly X 12 months = $12 000 dollars need for one year
    Asian countries are poor most all this Asian student goes overseas to study they are poor
    they from poor families and where they got the money of $12 000

    with $12 000 in any Asian country is a half rich has money enough
    no one needs to go overseas to study English or get a degree today in 2013 each country has the same master degrees as nursing, IT, Enginering and other

    i did lived in Canada as my part time job i was escort driver i did drove escorts all over the GTA
    i did drove over 1000 women from all nationalities most all of them were Asian women from China, Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Thailand and other Asian places
    all this ex workers i drove was illegal in Canada some of them was Canadian citizens
    i drove teacher, doctors, and nurses i drove sex workers who had a high pay jobs but they want more
    this is what they were doing when they were students

    Canada never will get ride of trafficking sex workers they are the ones who bring tourist and billions of dollars each year

    how come Canada Goverment stop trafficking prostituion if the Goverment legalized them back in 2010 allowed prostituion brothers

    Toronto SUN and NOW its full of ads from sex workers over a half of this ads are from illegal sex workers who are in the country on holidays and overstayed the visa
    but they will not get deportation they have immigration protection

    if was any housekeeping or construction workers the immigration will deport them in less 24 hours

    lots lots to post here but i think this its enough

    1. Michael Niren Post author

      That is quite a story. I do not agree with all your comments but I thought I would post it because it is an interesting perspective. When it comes to hiring an immigration lawyer, if you are concerned whether they are real or not, ask to see a copy of their licence and you can look them up online to see if they are listed as licensed lawyers.

      Michael Niren


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