REGINA BODY RUB PARLOUR UPDATE
August 26, 2020 City Council Meeting
If ever there was a time to take action, this is it!
DID YOU KNOW?....
1. Canada’s prostitution laws (Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act - PCEPA) legalized the sale of intimate type body rub work in Canada to prevent further victimization of trapped or coerced workers.
2. Purchasing intimate body rub services (johns), benefiting financially from the sale of such (pimping), and advertising (by anyone except for the worker) still continues to be illegal (PCEPA).
3. Regina City Administration is recommending to City Council that they license body rub establishment owners (pimps) in our city.
Once these body rub owners/operators are licensed by our city, it’s unlikely they would/could be arrested/charged for their exploitive illegal role (pimping).
There is no other illegal activity that is licensed (and therefore sanctioned) in Canada like this.
The workers are the only ones who could be legally allowed to be licensed.
4. Regina City Administration is also recommending that these body rub establishments should oversee themselves (i.e. the owners ensure workers meet standards, and not the City). This should not be allowed; it is like the fox guarding the henhouse.
5. The City also requires that Regina Police and City Inspectors are also able to perform checkups only by prebooked appointments (which allows ample time to hide all criminal and human trafficking evidence).
6. Regina City Council is planning a final vote on accepting licensing recommendations for owners/pimps later this month (1:30pm, Aug 26, 2020) even though this pimping still remains illegal in Canada.
7. A slim majority of Council members appear to be in favour of licensing owners.
A preliminary vote on Aug 5th was 5 to 4.
8. Very few are coming forward to speak against this in person!
Despite that most disapprove, only a handful of people have been showing up to speak against our illegal body rub establishments at recent meetings. On the few occasions where others did show up in the past, IT MADE A HUGE DIFFERENCE & consequently body rub establishments will now be banned from major arterial zones in Regina.
9. WE NEED YOUR VOICE NOW! Will you please join us on this final lap to establish bylaws that prevent licensing owners/pimps, reduce risks for the sexually exploited, and criminalize the perpetrators?
WHAT WOULD YOU DO? If it were your sister, daughter, son, niece, grandchild, etc.
Vulnerable young Asian women (after escaping or being rescued from exploitive situations) have reported being lured to Canada with a promise of honorable employment; only to discover the true nature of the body rub work after they started. Horrified, traumatized, and shamed, they are left with no resources to return home and a story too shameful to share with the culture of their family. Dominated, unable to speak English and truly stuck; they quickly learned compliance for survival! Many report to being told that they had to pay back the cost of transport to Canada and high ongoing accommodation fees before they can leave. Body rub establishments are known to be potential hubs for human trafficking: https://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/rcmp-breaks-up-canada-wide-prostitution-ring-1.2308275
The high majority of Regina’s body rub establishments advertise mainly or exclusively Asian (and sometimes European) women.
Is an invitation for human trafficking what we want in our city in 2020?
Are you willing to allow this to happen? It WILL if we do nothing!
WE ALL HAVE A PART TO PLAY.
Which small steps will you take to make a difference?
Send this to EVERYONE you know
Read this to every group you belong to
Email all the City Councillors and Mayor (see the sample form letter below if you want to use it) - https://www.regina.ca/about-regina/contact-us/contact-councillor/
These are the Council members that preliminarily voted in favour to license owners/pimps at the last meeting (Aug 5th): Michael Fougere, Bob Hawkins, Barbara Young, Mike O’Donnell, and Andrew Stevens.
Jerry Flegel and Joel Murray were not at the Aug 5th meeting to vote.
Note: Michael Fougere and Bob Hawkins voted at previous meetings in favour of banning body rub establishments from Regina.
VERY CRITICALLY IMPORTANT – WE NEED PEOPLE TO SPEAK! – Please register your 5 minute (or less) speech (before 1:00pm Aug 20th) to speak to City Council (through conference call) at the 1:30pm Aug 26th Regina City Council meeting
Send it via email to Ashley Thompson (Council Officer, Office of the City Clerk): E: firstname.lastname@example.org P: 306.777.7199 F: 306.777.6809
See Freedom Catalyst’s facebook page for further updates (https://www.facebook.com/FreedomCatalystRegina/).
Here is the City of Regina Administration report with more information on what is being voted on (starts at page 12): http://reginask.iqm2.com/Citizens/FileOpen.aspx?Type=1&ID=4093&Inline=True
Here is the video of the August 5th preliminary meeting (Executive Committee): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wP5zRaQQ9Zk&feature=emb_logo
Here is a sample form letter to use if you desire:
To: City Council re: Body Rub Establishment Licensing
Canadian Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act (PCEPA) has now made it legal to sell intimate body massage to protect the vulnerable trapped young workers from further injury from our justice system.
However, PCEPA still makes it illegal to purchase these services (johns), for others to profit from the sale of it (owners/pimps), or advertise (by owners/pimps only).
You have voted to allow body rub establishments in our Regina industrial areas. I am in opposition to allowing them in Regina.
You will be voting on licensing the owners or operators (pimps) as recommended by Regina City Administration. This is still illegal in Canada as clearly outlined in PCEPA. I am in opposition to licensing them. We cannot and should not license illegal activity in our City. Illegal activity should be enforced to be stopped, not sanctioned through licensing.
While the claim of those recommending licensing is that our street workers will be better protected; I disagree. Past workers of other licensed body rub establishments in Canada report, or are found, to being abused, neglected and trapped.1 Imagine if it were your sister daughter, niece or grandchild. These establishments are known to employ vulnerable Asian women; and not our Regina street workers in most cases.
If these owner/operators (pimps) are licensed, it will be nearly impossible to arrest and charge them for pimping, since that is what they would be licensed/sanctioned to do by our city officials.
If workers are licensed, during the application process, there should be something enacted where if any deception or falsehood is used (eg. stating owners are not involved, but they are found out to be involved), that would be cause for automatic revoking of the license and a ban on re-applying for multiple years. There needs to be proper documentation in place during the application that the workers can attest/sign that owners are not involved.
In addition, please ensure that our police hands are not additionally tied by requiring them to give notice before attending these establishments for checkups, since this would allow all evidence of human trafficking or owner/pimp involvement to be removed in advance.
Please do not allow or license pimps/owners in our city.
Please put in the proper paperwork during the application process to ensure workers attest/sign that no owners are involved, and that licenses are revoked (and reapplication cannot occur for several years) if any false statements are made during the application. This is a critical requirement for the safety of the workers to add proper checks and balances to protect against possible human trafficking situations from occurring.
Please allow police to do their job without hands tied by allowing them to check up on these body rub establishments unannounced (without having to book appointments in advance).
Your citizens are counting on you. Thank you!
Thank you everybody for your help on this important topic!
Regina Body Rub Parlour Update
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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.
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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.
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