Escort won’t put name on licence
The City of Kamloops is hoping a reduced business-licence fee will encourage more escort services in the community to comply with its bylaws, but a local escort says the change isn’t going to get her to follow suit.
This fall, the city dropped its licensing fee for escort and exotic-dancing services and body-rub parlours to $2,000 from $3,000.
The change was part of a major overhaul of Kamloops’ business-licensing bylaw.
While the charge is still higher than maximum fees for other types of businesses, city business licence and land co-ordinator Don Garrish told KTW the goal is for the fee decrease to make it easier for escort services to become licensed.
At the time the change was introduced, only one escort service was registered with the city.
However, a Kamloops woman with more than two decades of experience as an escort doesn’t think the change will make licensing any more enticing.
The woman, who asked that her name be withheld, said many escorts will still be reluctant to create the kind of paper trail required to get a licence.
“I’m not going to do it,” she said. “I’m not going to put my name on it.”
While the city’s bylaw explicitly states it isn’t licensing businesses engaged in prostitution, “we all know that’s what escorts do,” she said.
“You want somebody to pay for a licence that says we’re not doing what we’re doing.
“Everybody knows you’re calling an escort because you want sex.
“I’ve been doing this for 25 years and people don’t hire escorts for not sex.”
Women working independently, outside of escort agencies, generally aren’t bringing in the kind of cash that would allow for a $2,000 payment either, she said.
“When you’re living on very limited funds and going to the food bank and things like that — how many girls without being able to do this [escorting] would be homeless or living in an abusive relationship to have a roof over their head or pushing a cart on the street?” she asked.
“The last thing we need is someone like city hall coming down and putting more pressure and stress and everything on you.”
The woman is also worried the move to get more escorts complying could be the first step in a greater crackdown on sex workers by the city.
Kamloops CAO David Trawin said that isn’t the plan at the moment.
“We’re not right now dealing with enforcement per se,” he said.
“We’re not going to be actively targeting the workers, let’s put it that way.”
Instead, he’s hoping other businesses that engage with escorts in Kamloops will become more strict about enforcing city policy — specifically those businesses where such services are advertised.
“What we’re hoping is that the newspapers will also come along and basically say, ‘Show us your business licence before you can put an ad in’,” he said.