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Saskatoon bylaw limits strip clubs to industrial areas

Watch the video above: Some Saskatoon residents come forward with a petition to not have strip clubs only in industrial areas.

SASKATOON – City councillors have passed a bylaw that will limit adult entertainment to industrial areas in Saskatoon.

Council says it needed to pass the bylaw Monday night because come Jan. 1, 2014, strip clubs will be permitted in licensed establishments under provincial legislation and without the bylaw the city would have no control over where they go.

“This is not something that the City of Saskatoon can control if we have stripping or we don’t have stripping, it’s provincial legislation through Saskatchewan liquor and gaming, so what we’re trying to do is to mitigate the impact of that stripping within city limits,” said Ward 1 Councillor Darren Hill.

That means restricting strip clubs to heavy industrial areas with at least 160 meters between each establishment and from residential homes, schools and parks which has relieved some citizens’ concerns.

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It has others up in arms.

“The isolation of strip clubs or any clubs or nightclubs for that matter I see it as a safety issue,” said local human rights advocate Alexander Falcon.

He believes police resources will be stretched and employee safety will be put at risk.

Falcon organized a petition presented to council signed by close to 200 people who are opposed to allowing strip tease in industrial areas.

“If they’re suddenly being pushed out into heavy industrial areas then police are going to have to respond there, moving away from wherever they are and if that means that they’re in a residential area or on 8th Street or downtown the response time is going to be different,” he argued.

“I think that the safety of the workers becomes a responsibility of the establishment,” said Hill

Opposition to strip clubs in both residential and now industrial areas comes down to concerns over crime but interestingly, police statistics show even when a strip club called Showgirls existed on Idylwyld Drive back in the late 90’s, police were called to the venue less often compared to other bars and nightclubs in the same area.”

Between 1997 and 2001 there were 83 police calls to showgirls as opposed to 551 to the Longbranch Bar just across the street and 384 calls to Ryly’s nightclub on Alberta Avenue.

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Hill said there are also reports that suggest a direct link between crime and adult entertainment services.

“I think you can find anything to support either argument,” said Hill.

Either way, the presence of strip tease venues is something the citizens of Saskatoon will have to get used to.

City administration has been asked to write a comprehensive report within six months when the issue and the effect of the bylaw will be looked at again.

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