Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

MP blasts porn biz for school recruiting

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Winnipeg MP Joy Smith is livid the country's porn industry is brazen enough to talk about luring 18-year-old girls off school grounds and shopping malls to star in skin flicks and perform in strip clubs.

If the Vancouver School Board won't let the adult entertainment industry recruit strippers from within its high schools, industry reps say they'll stand out on the street and hand out flyers, spokesman Tim Lambrinos said in widely publicized comments first reported in the Vancouver Province.

"As far as recruiting 18-year-olds, that's a market that has been untouched," Lambrinos, executive director of the Adult Entertainment Association of Canada was quoted as saying.

Lambrinos confirmed a draft of a recruiting package read: "If you are visually appealing and comfortable with your naked body and are comfortable about taking all your clothes off, you can be working right now as an exotic dancer and earn your tuition fees for university or college."

The comments flew across the country and as quickly as the group appeared, it seemed to disappear again.

Its website carried no contact information apart from a complaint form that can be downloaded and submitted.

The brazen statements follow a Harper government decision to suspend temporary work visas for foreign strippers, the industry's main source of labour.

Lambrino was quoted saying the porn industry wouldn't take the labour ban "laying down," resorting to deliberately provocative language to make his point.

That was Thursday.

Smith, the Conservative MP from Kildonan-St. Paul known for her campaign to outlaw human trafficking, bluntly condemned the whole thing as a modern-day slave trade.

"The war against human traffickers that prey on our youth is now out in the open," Smith fumed.

"Those profiting from the recruitment of Canadian women and girls into the sex trade have gone public through newspapers with their strategy of targeting Canadian high school students since they can no longer import young women from abroad to sexually exploit."

Smith urged Canadians to slap back at pimps and porn artists with a public message of their own: "Our children will not be bought or sold."

Smith said while she's heard nothing specific about plans to recruit in Manitoba malls and school grounds, there's no reason to think Winnipeg won't be affected.

"Our young people are being lured into the sex trade right here in Winnipeg every day. There is no reason to believe our city is exempt from the Adult Entertainment Association of Canada's strategy to target high schools," Smith said.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 28, 2012 B4

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