Canada's Immigration Minister Jason Kenney pauses during a news conference in Ottawa June 29, 2012.
Credits: REUTERS/CHRIS WATTIE
He gets to stand up for young women from far-off lands, brutalized by gangsters right here in Canada and used as modern-day slaves.
He gets to come real close to accusing the federal Liberals of being pimps.
He announces no more strippers, escorts or massage parlour workers will be brought in as temporary help from outside the country.
You give your head a shake. Were peelers, escorts and the like being shipped into Canada to fill a labour shortage?
Well, they aren't - anymore.
Starting now, the feds aren't taking applications for temporary foreign workers from strip joints, escort agencies or body rub establishments.
In less than two weeks, Canadian immigration types won't process work permit applications from foreign workers seeking work in the businesses described above. Open work permits won't allow any toil linked to the sex trade.
Those fleeing their captors from a life of sexual servitude will be given 18 months to get their lives in order.
Yes, it is Wednesday and Jason Kenney, this country's pull-no-punches immigration boss, is on home turf, banging the political drum before the meet and greet, the grip and grin, the political merry-go-round of Stampede.
He paints the scene. Kenney calls it a "scourge." He says it is "odious."
Women‚ late teens and early 20s, ill-educated and gullible, hailing from villages in eastern Europe or Asia, brought in perhaps to a strip club with the promise of big money.
They are thinking they'll hit the jackpot, send plenty of dough home to the folks.
Then they're told if they want to get paid, if they don't want to get hurt, if they don't want their family harmed then, to quote Kenney, "you start hooking in Canada."
They're sold from one gang to another. Their passports are taken.
The women are "compelled to provide labour for sexual services through a variety of coercive practices for the profit of those people who control them."
Human trafficking, and here Kenney cites the Mounties, has been found to occur "discreetly behind prostitution fronts like escort agencies and residential brothels" with organized crime pulling the strings and difficult to detect.
"We will leave no stone unturned to protect the vulnerable," proclaims Kenney, adding legit massage therapists are not meant to be shut out by the ban, but he's willing to pay the price and err on the side against any laxity.
"Why would we grant visas to girls that we have a strong suspicion are going to end up under the thumbs of a criminal gang, being exploited and trafficked? We're not going after the women. We're protecting them from what they might not know will happen when they get to Canada."
"Why would we knowingly facilitate putting some girls into that kind of situation? It makes no sense and frankly this should have been done a long time ago."
It is here, in the thought of a long time ago, where Kenney takes out the effigy of the opposition, particularly the federal Liberals, and burns them with words of no hesitation.
It is, Kenney says, the opposition who didn't give the Harper Tories, while a minority government, the tools to "combat basically the facilitation of the sex trade."
"Many of those issues came to light for us because, when the previous Liberal government was in office, they were allowing hundreds of work permits and visas to be issued to exotic dancers, many who ended up in the sex trade being controlled by organized crime in what was very close to supporting human trafficking."
"It was known as the Liberal stripper program."
Kenney points out eight years ago in what was predictably tagged Strippergate where Judy Sgro, the Liberal immigration minister of the day, extended the stay of a 25-year-old Romanian stripper who volunteered on her election campaign.
Sgro cited "humanitarian factors" and is reported to have said the stripper game in 2004 was a "strong industry" with "lots of customers."
"That's an example of what was wrong in the past. We are slamming the door on that kind of abuse," says Kenney.
"We are no longer having senior political staff of the government, like there were before, hanging out at strip clubs talking about special deals for club owners helping politicians. That seediness is over."
Why did it happen? The immigration minister fast-forwards to the present and a little political wrangling, shadow boxing well before the main event.
"I understand Justin Trudeau is going to be in town for Stampede. Maybe you can ask him why his party opposed these life-saving measures," says Kenney, with a look somewhere between a smile and a sneer.