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Thread: Very serious: All contact strip clubs are illegal in Quebec as of June 15, 2010.

  1. #1

    Very serious: All contact strip clubs are illegal in Quebec as of June 15, 2010.

    I'm stunned.

    It seems that all contact strip clubs ($10 dances) are illegal in Quebec as of this summer.

    Long story short: In November 2003, strippers, bouncer, and client are arrested for being in a regular contact strip club in Laval. No one was naked, or having sex: they were engaging in the common "grinding dances".

    They were all found guilty in municipal court on October 3rd, 2007. This decision was appealed to the Quebec Superior court, which rejected the appeals and confirmed the convictions on January 6th, 2009 (1). This decision was then appealed to the Quebec Appeals Court, which (in a 2-1 split decision) rejected the appeal and confirmed the convictions on June 15, 2010 (2). It seems that this decision has not been appealed to the Supreme court of Canada (3), and the time to do so has lapsed.

    Bottom line: In Quebec, most/all strips clubs (except Wandas?) are now illegal. And unless the constitutional Charter challenge to the core anti-prostitution laws is successful in British-Columbia, they will remain illegal.

    Ironically, this pretty much leaves outcall prostitution as the only "legally safe" sexual thing to do.



    (1): http://www.canlii.org/fr/qc/qccs/doc...009qccs16.html
    (2): http://www.canlii.org/en/qc/qcca/doc...0qcca1155.html
    (3): http://soquij.qc.ca/fr/ressources-po...e-prostitution
    Last edited by Kepler; 10-18-2010 at 11:24 AM. Reason: fixed typo

  2. #2
    Veteran of Misadventures
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    Kepler,

    I am just wondering is this is a situation where common law precedent can properly be limited to the facts of the case that led to the appeal. I wonder if at that Laval club there were other problems such as complaints from neighbors. In these kinds of cases in the USA, clubs that have gotten prosecuted have operated very indiscreetly and caused NIMBY type complaints, while other clubs that have better locations in more remote or commercial areas, and make strategic donations to favored police charities, are never bothered by the police - although there are more dicks getting sucked within their walls than at the busted clubs. Like JJ I believe the police only act when there is a reason to do so. I am sure Kamasutra and those other clubs are keeping the Montreal Police Chief's favorite charities happy. There are legal ways to do this and the smarter clubs figure it out on their own or with the assistance of their attorneys.

  3. #3

    Question

    I am very confused ? I thought contact dances was made legal in 2000 by the Superior Court of Canada? I have not heard anything about laws being changed. I have been going to many stripclubs and many times police have come to the club to do their regular rounds but did nothing??? In fact they were looking for pushers for drugs.
    There is no knowledge that is not power.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by jeff jones View Post
    Somehow i don't think there is a whole lot to worry about in clubs such as ... The police will have better things to do ...
    If you read the QcCA judgment, you'll see that nothing out of the ordinary was happening at that club:
    Parag. 40: "clients remained dressed at all times, that booths were not closed or private, that no dancer agreed to have sexual intercourse with clients and that the police officers did not observe any reaching into a client’s crotch, touching or fondling of a dancer’s genitals, masturbation, fellatio, cunnilingus or sexual intercourse at Le Lavalois Bar Salon. There was no risk of a sexually transmitted disease. Moreover, nobody was charged of keeping a common bawdy-house."

    If you'd asked me before, I would have also said "the police have better things to do". I'm now surprised to see that I would have been very wrong.



    Quote Originally Posted by EagerBeaver View Post
    I am just wondering is this is a situation where common law precedent can properly be limited to the facts of the case that led to the appeal. I wonder if at that Laval club there were other problems such as complaints from neighbors. ... strategic donations
    As far as special circumstances, sadly I don't see anything jumping out of the Superior court or Appellate court reasons.

    As for "strategic donations", it's beyond my ability to speculate on this, but even if true, that would be a very unpredictable scheme. For the clubs, and especially for the clients (how can I know which clubs have the "favour" of the local authorities?).

    Finally, as to distinguishing this case from others: the only hopeful thing I see is that the dissenting judge at the QcCA level is a well respected judge. If this goes to the Supreme court of Canada one day (in a new case), it means there might be a shot.

    BUT:
    1- For now, every municipal judge will feel free to convict anyone arrested in a strip club, and may legitimately cite this as binding precedent.
    2- There will certainly be stepped up police enforcement. Maybe not province wide crackdowns, but certainly more raids than before.
    3- Even if you might win at the SCC, who is willing to pay $50,000 (minimum) to get up there, AND have their name forever associated in the media and trial records with such a case?

    The really big problem is the uncertainty (in the minds of strip club owners, workers, and patrons) that this creates. Make no mistake, this decision is terrible news.

    Except perhaps for those who yearn for a return to the "old days", prior to $10 dances.

    People who want to play it extra safe will stick to strip clubs in Ontario. For now.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by CLOUD 500 View Post
    I am very confused ? I thought contact dances was made legal in 2000 by the Superior Court of Canada? I have not heard anything about laws being changed. .
    Not exactly. You're talking about a number of cases, some of which went up to the Supreme Court. It's too complicated to explain exactly what happened back then in such a short space here, but you can read the old SCC decisions if you really care.

    The law (statutes, aka legislation) has NOT changed in Canada. What has just happened is that the Qc Appeals court has just interpreted it differently.

    But yes, from our point of view, in a simple way, we can say "The law just changed in Quebec."

    A very good summary of the law before this decision is found at: http://www.bardedanseuse.com/stripcl...-au-Canada.htm
    They even have an RSS feed for such news in Quebec!

    Last edited by Kepler; 10-17-2010 at 07:59 PM. Reason: Added link to a good summary of the law as it stood before this decision.

  6. #6
    Veteran of Misadventures
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kepler View Post
    As for "strategic donations", it's beyond my ability to speculate on this, but even if true, that would be a very unpredictable scheme. For the clubs, and especially for the clients (how can I know which clubs have the "favour" of the local authorities?).
    Kepler,

    I know of one long running AMP in Connecticut, Fantasy Modeling Studio in Bridgeport. They have have never been touched by LE in 12 years while many of their competitors have gotten shut down. They openly advertise that they donate to police favored charities. At one time their back door was covered with bumper stickers of the Police Athletic League and other charities that all the locals here know are favored by the Bridgeport cops.

    It is not so hard to figure these things out, sometimes just asking questions of the right people otherwise in some cases the answer is obvious as with Fantasy. If you are a smart SC or MP owner you find out who the powers that be are in the police force and figure out what their charitable causes are. It could be a Little League or whatever. Maybe the Montreal chief has a son playing hockey in the juniors so you make a donation to that club. In exchange you are protected. This ain't rocket science. There are ways to make strategic donations and all the smart SC/MP owners figure this out. Believe me it makes a huge difference as some businesses get a total pass from LE and some do not.
    Last edited by EagerBeaver; 10-17-2010 at 06:16 PM.

  7. #7
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    I tried to find the answer but... what was the charge that the guys were arrested & convicted for? It seems that it had nothing to do with being in a bawdy house, or any form of soliciting, so maybe I either missed something, or someone can explain (in layman's terms)?

    btw I was "involved" in the raid on Teazers many years ago, and without going into details it was basically a cash grab by the police with only US citizens having to post a $250CDN "bail". I won't post details at this time, since it may have nothing to do with this thread.

    Thanks, in advance

    Voyager
    "No matter how sophisticated you may be, a large granite mountain cannot be denied—it speaks in silence to the very core of your being."
    -Ansel Adams

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Voyager View Post
    I tried to find the answer but... what was the charge that the guys were arrested & convicted for?
    Qc Appellate court's decision, parag. 6: "The ten appellants were tried and convicted of the offence of having been found in a common bawdy‑house without lawful excuse contrary to paragraph 210(2)(b) Cr. C., an offence punishable on summary conviction. The eight female appellants were dancers who offered nude presentations at a bar in Laval known as Lavalois Bar Salon. One of the male appellants was the doorman at the Bar, while the other was a customer in the premises when the appellants were arrested."

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Kepler View Post
    Qc Appellate court's decision, parag. 6: "The ten appellants were tried and convicted of the offence of having been found in a common bawdy‑house without lawful excuse contrary to paragraph 210(2)(b) Cr. C., an offence punishable on summary conviction. The eight female appellants were dancers who offered nude presentations at a bar in Laval known as Lavalois Bar Salon. One of the male appellants was the doorman at the Bar, while the other was a customer in the premises when the appellants were arrested."

    It seems it is the way Quebec is interpreting the law ruled by the Superior Court of Canada. Quebec considered it a common bawdy-house while Ontario would not.
    There is no knowledge that is not power.

  10. #10
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    Sorry,was on an hospital bed all week,just back in office. It comes back to: how prostitution is defined actually : paying for sexual gratification. Does not have to be full sex or BJ or manual release; in fact in the landmark Pussycat case mentionned before, the accusations were for keeping or being found in bawdy house based on "indecency",if they had been based on "prostitution" the outcome would probably have been different.
    The key here in the case we are concerned about is "paying for sexual gratification"...also note there was "public sollicitation"
    Hence the Ontario famous massage judgment is a bit different, no money for sexual gratification...still very weak case in my opinion and not really usable or valid in Quebec. I would hate to go to court building my defence on it.
    A fact: if your massage parlour offers options like manual release,touching body parts for money it IS a bawdy house.Plus they sollicit in public...(reception area)...do it in a regular and constant way...
    if in you favorite strip club dancers don't charge extra for touching and don't do it regularly,and also do'nt sollicit for it (where do you go?!..I want the name and adress) you are almost safe(note almost).
    Sollicitation has to be in public,once the massage door is closed you are in private...but (i hate "buts" i like "butts" better,but that is another story) a bawdy house is where acts of prostitution or indecency are commited regularly...
    Have to go,will come back to this later.
    Last edited by duetoday; 10-18-2010 at 12:23 PM. Reason: not truly awake...

  11. #11

    Lightbulb

    Quote Originally Posted by duetoday View Post
    it was considered a bawdy house not because of acts of prostitution but of indecency.Please note:contacts were in public not in booths.
    Ahh. KK. Now it makes more sense as to why they were charged. I remember reading through the ruling of the Superior Court of Canada regarding lapdancing and I vaguely recall that contact dances would be legal as long as it happened out of plain sight. Hence why it is termed indecent. It indeed such acts were happening on the main floor with everyone being able to see that yes it could be interpreted as a common bawdy house. Even in Ontario lapdances are done away from plain sight in another room but they do not have the conventional booths like in Quebec.
    There is no knowledge that is not power.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by duetoday View Post
    it was considered a bawdy house not because of acts of prostitution but of indecency.Please note:contacts were in public not in booths.

    I'm sorry, but this is 100% incorrect. The lap dances were just like any other club in Quebec, in cubicles. The court considered that this was prostitution. This is written in plain English in the links I provided above. This is a notable case because the court has just changed the definition of prostitution.
    Last edited by Kepler; 10-18-2010 at 12:38 AM.

  13. #13

    Exclamation

    Quote Originally Posted by Kepler View Post
    I'm sorry, but this is 100% incorrect. The lap dances were just like any other club in Quebec, in cubicles. The court considered that this was prostitution. This is written in plain English in the links I provided above. This is a notable case because the court has just changed the definition of prostitution.
    I actually read it again very thoroughly since there is so much. I see where you are getting at. They seem to changed the definition of prostitution basically saying there does not have to be any intercourse to be considered prostitution. I think this is all retarded. So what happens to stripclubs? So far I have not seen any change or any police raids. I have seen police going to stripclubs doing their regular rounds but they did not bust the dancers or the customers. Does that mean it will all go back to non contact airdances? If that happens I will quit stripclubs all together.
    There is no knowledge that is not power.

  14. #14
    Guys; the law never "changed". For an establishment to be a "common bawdy house" (maison de débauche), it has to be a place where there are either acts of prostitution or indecent acts. The definition of "indecency" has always been in relation to "community standards". In the 2000 case, the Crown only argued indecency, not prostitution. The court in 2000 only ruled that contact dances were not indecent; the court never ruled on whether or not the contact dances constituted prostitution.

    As for prostitution, the ordinary, common law definition is merely sexual gratification for consideration. There is no requirement of penetration, fellatio, or the like. HJs (including 'over the pants' HJs) are prostitution under the law; grinding on a guy's dick is prostitution. There isn't even a requirement that orgasm be achieved. This is not new law and the court didn't change the definition of prostitution.

    This means that most strip clubs in Quebec are "common bawdy houses"; virtually all massage parlours are "common bawdy houses"; and the notorious no-tell motels are common bawdy houses. Again, this is not new law.

    From an enforcement point of view, IMO it's business as usual. Montreal has a long history of tolerating illegal prostitution. The massage parlours continue to operate with relative impunity, and so do the strip clubs. We all suspect that the decision to bust or not to bust depends on some behind the scenes activity.

    Of course it remains to be seen how the Charter challenge to the common bawdy house prohibition plays out. As it stands, the effect of the ruling has been stayed, and the Crown intends to appeal it.

  15. #15
    From a LE point of view, I think keeping things as is would be the best course of action... keepin bawdy houses under control means leaving a few in operation, making a raid once in a while...

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