In March 2020, Body Rub Centres in Edmonton were closed pursuant to a State of Local Emergency Order, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
On April 27, 2020, Edmonton City Councillor Jon Dziadyk stated he wants to explore options for accelerating the permanent closure of Body Rub Centres in the next annual update, given that the Centres are currently closed. This Notice of Motion was laid over on May 11, 2020.
You can read more about the background in this CBC article.
The Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network believe that when developing law and policy that directly affects sex workers, it is vital to centre their perspectives. Workers in Edmonton are strongly opposed to the closure of their workplaces. In addition, research from Canada and beyond underscore how the closure of sex workers’ workplaces under the guise of ‘protection’ results in less safe working environments for workers.
We make this submission to urge Edmonton City Council to reject any proposal to permanently shut down the city’s Body Rub Centres.