News / Edmonton

Don't make ID mandatory at body rub parlours: City admin

The city's administration is worried the move could create more safety issues

Edmonton's city administration is recommending against making identification necessary for clients at body rub centres.

Paul Chiasson / The Canadian Press

Edmonton's city administration is recommending against making identification necessary for clients at body rub centres.

Despite arguments from advocates, city administration is recommending to not make identification mandatory for clients visiting body rub parlours.

In July, earlier this year, council asked administration to consult with owners of body rub centres after advocates suggested ID’ing clients to improve safety for the employees.

Jenny Kain, director of family and community support with citizen services, said they conducted a survey consulting practitioners and owners of body rub centres on the issue of mandatory identification.

“We did hear clearly that requiring clients to identify themselves would risk driving the industry underground where there is no control,” Kain said.

The survey results showed that 89 per cent of those surveyed disagreed with mandatory identification as it would encourage more practitioners moving from licensed facilities to offering services privately.

“That would risk putting the safety of practitioners and clients at greater risk.” Kain said.

The report said practitioners suggested that they would rather risk a fine than ID their clients. In August, 2016, the city created a Body Rub Task Force implementation team to increase focus on harm reduction and to improve inspections at the 34 licensed body rub centres in Edmonton.

The control plan includes having security cameras and another security person on site as well as more education for employees on how to access help and report a crime.

The survey also found additional concerns with ID’ing such as potential risks to visitors if body rub owners have access to personal information.

The recommendations will be presented at the Community and Public Service Committee meeting on Monday for review.

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