Canadian strip club owners are in a crisis. After Parliament recently cut visas, foreign strippers are being sent packing.
As a sweetener, strip clubs like Windsor Club are offering bonuses and up to $1,700 in college tuition for young women willing to work there. All the women have to do for the perk is keep a B-plus average.
“[They] can take any class they want to help better themselves,” said club owner, Robert Katzman, who offers a $500 signing up bonus to new dancers. “We have girls studying business, finance, to become nursing assistants and one taking chiropractory.”
He even covers first and last month's rent, travel money and financial assistance when it comes to hair, makeup and 'costumes.'
Of the 800 foreign strippers in Canada, many threatened to work in the sex trade following the federal government's cull on visas. Nine of Katzman's dancers face deportation when their visas expire in several weeks. He claimed they feel cheated by Canada, the country in which they lived and paid taxes like everyone else.
“I am still stunned because I was hoping to stay here,” said a 35-year-old Asian dancer known as Pearl. “I have been working hard and have credit card payments and rent to pay.” Pearl, who has a university degree in mathematics, regularly sends money home to her parents.
But the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) claims the purpose of the ban is to "protect vulnerable foreign workers from the risk of abuse and exploitation in sex trade-related businesses.”
Is the stripper ban fair? Are strippers entitled to visas like any other foreign worker?
Health Canada has recalled the "Alterego" girls' and women's-sized Leopard costumes with the following UPC:
and the "Feather Witch" Halloween Costume with the following UPC codes:
The fabric of the costumes do not meet the requirements for textile flammability under Canadian law, and could easily catch on fire, causing serious burns to customers if exposed to a heat source.
Although Health Canada has not received any reports of incidents, customers are advised to dispose of the Leopard costumes and contact Value Village via the company's website. Customers may contact Fun World directly at 1-800-247-5314 regarding the Feather Witch costumes.
From August 29 to November 5 2011, approximately 1,955 of "Alterego Leopard" costumes were sold at Value Village stores across Canada.
From January 2007 to September 2011, approximately 415 "Feather Witch" Halloween Costumes were sold at various retail and novelty stores in Ontario and Quebec.
Imaginary play is not the be all, end all for preschoolers. So say researchers at the University of Virginia (U.Va) in a study published online in the journal Psychological Bulletin. While pretend play may be fun, it's apparently not as crucial to a child's development as previously thought.
This is a pretty big turn-around in the world of early childhood education, which held for decades that imaginary play was a vital contributor in a child's healthy mental development.
So, though your child may enjoy making her Barbie and Ken dolls converse, it's not actually feeding her intellect.
Having reviewed more than 150 studies, researchers at U.Va found little or no correlation between intellectual development and pretend play.
"We found no good evidence that pretend play contributes to creativity, intelligence or problem-solving," said Angeline Lillard, the new study's lead author and a U.Va. professor of psychology in the College of Arts & Sciences. "However, we did find evidence that it just might be a factor contributing to language, storytelling, social development and self-regulation."
Lillard likened it to a chicken-egg scenario: with psychologists finding it difficult to ascertain whether imaginary play made children more creative and imaginative, or whether possessing those qualities led children to engage in this form of play.
"When you look at the research that has been done to test that, it comes up really short," Lillard said. "It may be that we've been testing the wrong things ... but at this point these claims are all overheated."
However, as Lillard pointed out, various elements of pretend play—from making choices and pursuing individual interests, negotiating with peers and physical interaction with real objects—are certainly valuable. So Montessor schools stressing such individual pursuits can breathe easy.
Not least of which because a marked absence of naturally occurring pretend play for children between 18 months and 2 years old may indicate the incidence of a neurological disorder, such as autism.
So while imaginary play may not boost your child's development in the ways previously held, it certainly important as it "provides a happy context for positive adult-child interaction," which in itself is crucial to a child's healthy development.