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?