If adopted, Bill C-57 would permit immigration officers to reject foreign workers at risk of being humiliated, degraded or sexually exploited.
"What we're trying to do here is protect vulnerable foreign workers, ones that could easily be exposed to sexual exploitation, harassment and abuse," said Immigration Minister Diane Finley on Wednesday.
This is a noble goal to have. Women in particular need this sort of protection as they are likely to be at greater risk. You would think feminists would wholeheartedly support this goal. But no.
"The previous Liberal government gave blanket exemptions to foreign strippers to work in Canada," she told the House of Commmons.
"(This was) despite warnings that they were vulnerable to forced prostitution and other exploitation ... Thanks to (this legislation), the good old days of Liberal Strippergate will be a thing of the past."
'Strippergate' is a reference to a scandal involved one-time Liberal immigration minister Judy Sgro.
She fast-tracked the residency permit of a Romanian stripper who had worked on her 2004 campaign. A 2005 report found Sgro didn't intend to abuse her authority, but noted her staff knew about the situation.
Liberals scoff at the Tories' tactic...
An NDP member echoed that view...
"It's playing with a very serious issue in a very partisan way ... It speaks to their disregard for women, all across the board."
Disregard for women? Give me a break. If anything, protecting women from exploitation is a sign of their very high regard for women. And the numbers don't lie.
In 2004, when Liberal Paul Martin was prime minister, there were 423 visas issued for foreign exotic dancers.
Since Conservative Stephen Harper took over in early 2006, 17 permits have been issued -- seven so far this year.
From 423 to 17! That is a huge drop!
Yet another reason I voted Conservative.