City to change massage regulations
The city wants to change how it regulates the massage industry by creating separate licencing categories for registered massage therapists and people who work in adult body rub shops.
Legitimate therapists — who perform massage for health and wellness reasons, are recognized by legitimate organizations and have the necessary training —will face fewer restrictions in obtaining a business license.
Body rub staff will continue to undergo criminal record checks. They will also have to take a course on sexual exploitation given by the city.
"This training for the people that are getting the body rub practitioner licenses — I'm pretty sure that's the first in the country," said Chief Licensing Officer Randy Kirillo.
"You can create laws, and we're creating good laws, but part of this thing is dealing with social issues."
The city would also like to set up a team to regulate body rub parlours the same way the Public Safety Compliance Team regulates bars.
Kirillo said a number of agencies, including Canadian Border Services, RCMP, Alberta Health Services and Alberta Immigration and Employment, would be involved to deal with immigration, health and employment issues.
The changes will go to city council's executive committee for debate next week.