Massage parlours also a concern, Premier Brad Wall says
Similar to strip shows in bars, massage parlours connected to exploitation, premier says
Premier Brad Wall says he has similar concerns about massage parlours as he does about stripping in bars.
The Saskatchewan government is moving to ban strippers in licensed establishments, with Wall saying the activity is connected to crime and the exploitation of women.
Speaking to CBC Radio's Morning Edition host Stefani Langenegger on Thursday, Wall said he has similar concerns about the massage parlour industry in this province, although the province's ability to act is not as clear-cut.
What is attendant to these activities [massage parlours] can be human trafficking, certainly, potential drug abuse and literally risking the health and the lives of young people.- Premier Brad Wall
"These kinds of businesses involve potential Criminal Code infractions, which are the federal government's responsibility," he said. "Is there more that the province can do? I think there is, in this general area."
Wall said there has been a "bit of a vacuum" since the Supreme Court struck down Canada's prostitution laws, and he's waiting to see the final version of new federal law.
If that legislation doesn't have the protection for women that there could be, then Saskatchewan will work with the other provinces to lobby Ottawa for further changes, he said.
"The massage parlour industry also leads to many of the things that we're probably not talking about," he said.
"We ought to be vigilant about it because we know for many, what is attendant to these activities can be human trafficking certainly, potential drug abuse and literally risking the health and the lives of young people — women and sometimes men."
Saskatchewan police have told CBC News that there has been a dramatic increase in the number of massage parlours opening up in recent years, particularly in Regina.
Police believe many of these businesses offer sexual services for money and are a front for prostitution, but getting convictions is difficult.
Wall made his comments about massage parlours while explaining his reasons for banning stripping in bars.
Saskatchewan legalized mixing alcohol and strippers last year, but Wall now says his government will amend the law within a few weeks to reverse that change.