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UPDATE: the meeting that was originally scheduled for June 24 has been postponed (date not set).

 

Until then, check out our fb page for updates.

Concerned citizens of Regina - we need your help!

The City of Regina is currently in the process of deciding how to better handle Regina's existing 19 massage parlours (called body rub parlours).


The recommendations can be read HERE (starting on page 27).

In summary they are recommending:

  1. Not banning body rub parlours (even though the public overwhelmingly supported and wanted this).
     

  2. Only licensing body rub parlour establishments/owners and not individual workers.

    1. It is actually illegal for owners to have a body rub parlour – therefore this should never be an option.
       

  3. Removing the restriction from parlours being near family residences, parks, and other locations

    1. 17 of the 19 parlours are currently near a family residence, with many being direct neighbours.
       

  4. Making the parlours move to major arterial commercial zones (MAC) instead of the industrial zone.

    1. This would allow the majority to continue to operate where they are. It would also normalize this in our society and in most major business/downtown areas of Regina.

 

We as Freedom Catalyst have significant concerns with what is being proposed.
 

 


HOW YOU CAN HELP:

1. Executive Committee Meeting

June 12th @ 11:45 @ City Hall (Henry Baker Hall)

  • City Councillors will vote on how to handle the body rub parlours at this meeting. 

  • Individuals are welcome to speak for up to 5 minutes each (no pre-registration required)

  • Please consider attending and/or making a speech!


 

2. City Council Meeting

June 24 @ 5:30 @ City Hall (Henry Baker Hall)

  • City Councillors FINAL VOTE

  • Individuals may speak for <5 minutes each (speeches must be submitted by June 18 @ 1pm to clerks@regina.ca along with a letter requesting permission to appear before City Council) 

  • Please consider attending and/or making a speech!



3. Sign this online petition

  • SIGN HERE

  • It states that you do not want body rub parlours in Regina - you want them banned

  • It also requests a “Report a John” feature to help Police

     

4. SHARE!



5. Contact the Mayor & City Coucillors! 

 

FORM LETTER
(we also have a longer version with more detail that you may request!)


{Date}

 

Dear City of Regina Councillors and Mayor Fougere,


I am writing as a Regina citizen to express my concerns related to the proposed recommendations on how to regulate body rub parlours in Regina.

I have significant concern that the current recommendations will not properly address the problems associated with the body rub parlours in Regina. I do not want to see sexual exploitation normalized or crime increased in Regina.

 

It is well known that body rub parlours in Canada can be hubs for human trafficking, sexual exploitation, and organized crime. One example from an RCMP operation that broke up a prostitution ring in 2015 included the following (1, 2):
 

  • The accused were several main leaders of an Asian-based international criminal organization
     

  • This group allegedly brought more than 500 women (a conservative estimate), mostly from Korea and China
     

  • The women were sexually exploited through various bawdy houses (body rub parlours)
     

  • The women came to Canada on their own choice (under false pretences) but quickly realized that the conditions were not good and that they were being exploited into sex work
     

  • The group operated in Halifax, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Winnipeg, Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver


This is of significant concern since 17 of the 19 body rub parlours in Regina advertise as containing exclusively, or predominantly Asian women.

This is clearly a nationwide problem of huge proportion, and something needs to be done to say this is NOT tolerated, welcomed, or ignored in our cities any longer.


Specifically related to the current recommendations made in the City’s report, my concerns include:
 

  1. Recommending that body rub parlour owners/establishments be licensed but not the individual workers.
     

    1. As per the Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act, it is illegal for owners to operate a body rub parlour since they are receiving a material benefit from the selling of sex of an individual. This sort of practice should never, ever be allowed or licensed since it is illegal.
       

    2. By licensing only owners, this causes significant problems for increasing human trafficking potential. Municipalities licensing individuals to guard against exploitation by owners/pimps.
       

  2. The zoning restrictions on parlours being near a family residence, park, club, funeral home, rink, or bowling centre have been removed.
     

    1. 17 of the 19 parlours operating in Regina infringe on the family residence restriction alone. All of these prohibitions should still remain in place.
       

  3. No recommendations are being given on licensing or regulating other forms of sex work such as escorts.
     

    1. In the report it mentions parlour operators are concerned “about licensing one type of sex worker and not others, such as escorts”. The City has also mentioned escorts are riskier than body rub parlours (3).
      If licensing is pursued, escorts should therefore be licensed and regulated as well.

       

    2. Licensing escorts is common, and it used in cities such as Kelowna, Edmonton, Calgary, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, etc.
       

  4. Body rub parlours are being recommended for discretionary use in both industrial and major arterial commercial (MAC) zones.
     

    1. The report suggests the goal of allowing the parlours to operate in MAC zones is increased perceived safety. However, if this is truly the case, to also allow them in an industrial zone, is a direct contradiction of the reason for the change of moving them to MAC zones.
       

    2. I believe, that regardless of any environment/building practices that are implemented, moving body rub parlours to MAC zones will have a detrimental effect on neighbourhoods, real estate, and the desire for people/businesses to live, attend, or work there.
       

    3. I do not believe it is a good idea, nor safe, to have body rub parlours in MAC zones. It actually decreases the safety of the women due to the significant amount of increased business and men attending.
       

  5. The recommendations provided by the City will likely do very little to decrease body rub parlours from operating in Regina.
     

    1. The report suggests that most of the current body rub parlours would be ok with the proposed changes. Therefore the chances of the majority of the 19 parlours continuing to operate as “business as usual” is very high. This is of major concern.
       

  6. “Report a John” feature implemented in Regina.

    1. Edmonton Police currently have an online option that allows the public to report john activity. I would like this to also be implemented in Regina.
       

  7. The report says banning body rub parlours is unsafe due to causing it to go underground.
     

    1. I believe this is untrue. Every single criminal activity, when enforced, has the possibility of going underground. That does not mean criminal activity should not be enforced.
       

    2. Banning body rub parlours sends a strong message that buying sex is illegal, and that criminal activity will indeed be properly enforced in Regina.
      This would also cause sexual exploitation not to be normalized in our community.
      That's the message that we want to send!
      It would also reduce a host of problems such as organized crime, neighbourhood character problems, human trafficking reduction, worker and public safety, etc.

       

    3. If less people buy sex since it is not prevalent (i.e. out of sight, out of mind) less women are engaged in the sector.
      Lowering demand significantly increases the women’s safety since safety concerns strongly correlate to the actions of, and the amount of buyers (as well as possible pimps or traffickers).

       

Despite the arguments presented in the issued report, I believe the best, safest, and most effective way to deal with the problems associated with body rub parlours is to take a proper stance, and ban them in Regina.

Please enact a ban on body rub parlours (and consider the other concerns mentioned above) for the health, safety and wellbeing of the women involved, the general Regina public, and the betterment of our City.

 

Thank you,
 

{Name}
 

{Full Address}
 

1 https://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/rcmp-breaks-up-canada-wide-prostitution-ring-1.2308275

2 https://nwasianweekly.com/2015/04/canada-police-7-arrested-in-massive-asian-prostitution-ring/

3 Video: https://regina.ctvnews.ca/city-rolls-out-recommendations-on-regulations-for-body-rub-parlours-1.4453439

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you for all of your help on making Regina a place free of sexual exploitation!

Urge the City to shut down brothels

Who we are...join us

Freedom Catalyst Regina (FCR) is a grass roots anti-human trafficking advocacy group in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada.


If you have a heart to end sexual exploitation / modern slavery, and can help in any way (big or small), contact us to find out how you can get involved.

To chat, or join our Mailing List, contact us:

fcr@sasktel.net

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Our Mission

Motivated by the dynamic love of Jesus to seek justice and defend the cause of the oppressed, Freedom Catalyst Regina exists to be a catalyst towards abolishing human trafficking and sexual exploitation.

We achieve this by working in conjunction with, and in support of, other agencies to increase public education and provide resources for those affected.

We're so thankful for financial support.


Donations are welcome via cash, cheque or e-transfer.

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