Edmonton to consider lower fees, enhanced screening for erotic massage operators
Changes include reduced business licence fees and deeper police record checks for owners
A new report from city staff recommends changes for erotic massage parlours operating in Edmonton.
For a body rub practitioner, the report recommends reducing the fee to operate from $230 to $89.
This change puts the fee in line with similar business types, according to the report released Thursday.
The report also contains a recommendation that the cost of the business licence be reduced to $607 from the current $777.
To make the centres safer for those who work there, and to make business owners more accountable for their operations, staff are also recommending that massage business licence holders undergo an enhanced police check.
This means applicants for a body rub business licence would have to provide a Vulnerable Sector Check — a more robust background check for those working with people at greater risk of being harmed by someone in a position of trust or authority — as part of the required police information check.
Licence applications that do not contain this additional check can still be accepted, however the absence of the additional information will be considered as part of the overall review of the application, the report said.
Councillors will discuss the report's recommendations at the community and public services committee meeting June 19.
The number of licensed body rub centres in Edmonton has leveled off in recent years, the report said.
There were 34 licensed facilities operating in the city as of May 19, 2017, down from a peak of 49 in 2009.