While U.S. Gives "Genius" Visa to Canadian Playboy Model, Canada Bans Visas for Foreign Strippers


Late last month media outlets discovered that Shera Bechard, the former girlfriend of Playboy magnate Hugh Heffner, was working in the United States thanks to a visa reserved for "individuals with extraordinary ability." 

Meanwhile, in Bechard's home country, foreign strippers will be given the boot

While the Conservative government has already cut back dramatically on the number of new work visas for foreign strippers – just 12 were approved last year – it has nonetheless continued to renew most existing permits.

That will now come to an end, according to announcements from Immigration Minister Jason Kenney and Human Resources Minister Diane Finley. As a result, hundreds of foreign strippers will lose their immigration permits this year.

It is the latest change to a controversial program that is at the heart of federal efforts to respond to growing labour shortages. While this latest change risks creating new labour shortages, the Temporary Foreign Worker program is generally being used to fill a wide range of jobs across the country.

Earlier this year, Mr. Kenney announced that employers with good reputations would be allowed to fast track the hiring of temporary foreign workers and be allowed to pay them 15 per cent less than the average wage for a particular job. Labour groups and the NDP opposition slammed the move, accusing the Conservatives of driving down wages on behalf of employers.

As far as work visas for foreign strippers is concerned, Mr. Kenney pointed to RCMP worries that escort agencies, brothels and massage parlours are connected to human trafficking and sexual exploitation. Wednesday's announcement is part of a larger federal effort to crack down on human trafficking.

"The government cannot in good conscience continue to admit temporary foreign workers to work in businesses in sectors where there are reasonable grounds to suspect a risk of sexual exploitation," said Mr. Kenney, according to a copy of a speech he delivered in Calgary.

Because forcing sex work underground is the best way to end explotation.