Edmonton

Councillor wants new moratorium on body rub parlours

A temporary moratorium may soon be placed on business licenses for new body rub parlours in Edmonton to give a task force more time to study the issue.
Coun. Scott McKeen wants council to place a new temporary moratorium on business licenses for body rub or adult massage parlours. (CBC )

A temporary moratorium may soon be placed on business licenses for new body rub parlours in Edmonton to give a task force more time to study the issue.

Coun. Scott McKeen is worried that new licenses will be issued before members of a task force studying the issue can come up with recommendations. He is calling for a ban that would expire on May 1, 2015.

"My concern was that we could have a number of these licences rushed through, and then the argument [would] be from administration, 'Oh well, they're grandfathered in now, we can't change the rules,’” he said.

A moratorium could come as welcome news to McCauley residents who have been fighting to keep adult massage parlours out of their central Edmonton neighbourhood.

Mike Van Boom said McCauley already has two body rub parlours with a third waiting for a business license.

Van Boom said the McCauley Community League plans to file appeals against all the body rub parlours in the neighbourhood.

He’s fed up with the proliferation of these businesses in the area.

"We already have a negative stigma of being a destination community for people seeking sex workers … and we as a community are done with that.”

The city put a seven-month moratorium on massage parlours which expired at the end of January.

McKeen said the task force was delayed in completing its work partly because of the Supreme Court ruling on Canada’s prostitution laws.

now