'We need more time': City delays decision on 'body rub' massage parlours
An executive committee has decided to delay making a decision about a bylaw that would implement new rules for massage parlours that are allegedly operating as fronts for prostitution.
This issue has been on the City’s plate since December, when they first discussed a bylaw that would change the classification of these businesses from massage parlours to “body rub” parlours.
The committee hopes any changes made will lead to a safer environment for both employees and customers, along with better enforcement.
They weighed four options for changes to the parlours on Thursday, from finalizing the name change, to regulating and licensing the businesses, or even an outright ban.
“The essence of the issue here is how do we deal with it? Is it by banning? Is it by regulating and licensing?” said Regina Mayor Michael Fougere. “We need more information, we need more time.”
Regina Police Service Superintendent Corey Zaharuk spoke at the meeting and said the police feel the best option from an enforcement standpoint would be to institute regulations and licensing for these businesses. He also added that an outright ban is not “constitutionally viable,” and banning these businesses would not give police access to any more resources than they have now.
A majority of the people that were consulted in the report on “body rub” parlours wanted to see the establishments banned and shut down.
Councillors Bob Hawkins, Sharron Bryce and Lori Bresciani voiced their support for an outright ban, citing that the city should not go against what the citizens want.
After some discussion, the committee decided to hold off making a decision on Thursday, opting to gather more information before making a final call. City administration will be addressing some of the concerns raised by councillors, and filing a new report for the committee.
“Council collectively wants more information, more than what was in the report, and as you ask more questions more information is requested,” said Fougere. “We went around the table one last time and asked each member of council ‘what would you like to see in the next report,’ a supplemental report to give us more information.”
Administration is tentatively aiming for an end of July completion date for the new report, but the committee will wait until all the questions and concerns are addressed before confirming a date.