Councillors ask for more information following escort service application

Councillors want more information on how escort service bylaws were handled in other communities as they face the question in Kitimat.

There’s no escort service in Kitimat just yet and council has directed staff to bring forward further information on how such applications were handled in other communities.

Council heard the report from staff member Lyle McNish, who looked into how such applications were handled in other communities.

The District of Kitimat has received a letter from a prospective business owner which sets out the entrepreneur’s intent to open an escort service.

The only change since the letter was received and administration compiled the report is that the applicant is now likely to establish a call centre office out of town, in Prince George.

That still leaves questions as to how to include provisions for escort services in the town’s Municipal Code.

So far there are no direct references to such businesses however as administration has learned there is not much legal recourse to prohibit such businesses, as Canada’s Supreme Court has upheld the legality of escort services.

The town can’t deny a business licence unreasonably, and because the business would be legal in the eyes of Canada’s laws, to deny such applications would be deemed unreasonable.

It was suggested to councillors in the staff’s report that they include a number of restrictions including hours of operations (such as only between 5 p.m. and 4 a.m.) as well as requiring a process for recording the employees and clients of the business.

The proposed definition of an escort service, as defined in other municipalities, is a “service business or agency run by a licensee that charges or receives a fee for providing an escort for social occasions…”

In their further research, councillors will look over the legal opinion received by the Regional Municipality of the Northern Rockies, which is publicly available on their website.

In that legal opinion it sets out much of what McNish explained, and it also notes that a bylaw cannot infringe on criminal law. So a bylaw cannot make illegal what is not illegal under Canada’s Criminal Code.

“Local governments cannot ban escort services and/or adult oriented businesses from their communities on primarily morality grounds,” the legal opinion summary states.

That may be a bitter pill to swallow for some residents. Three people attended last week’s Committee of the Whole meeting to see how the issue played out, and a brief post to the Sentinel’s Facebook page that this issue was coming up was met with dozens upon dozens of comments, mostly expressing upset over the proposal.

Do you have thoughts on how the District should handle applications for escort agencies? Send a Letter to the Editor at newsroom@northernsentinel.com or send it to our office at 626 Enterprise Avenue, Kitimat, BC, V8C 2E4.

Just Posted

Moms of those killed by illicit opioids take to B.C. Legislature in call for action

Moms Stop the Harm, a nationwide network of families who have lost loved ones to overdoses rally

Second World War prompts airport construction

And now it’s the busiest airport in the region

Trudeau announces bioregional oceans protection agreement in Prince Rupert

Agreement announced in partnership with 14 central and north coast First Nations

115 new wildfires burning across B.C. due to 19,000 lightning strikes

More fires expected to start today, says BC Wildfire Service officials

B.C. turns up the heat

Environment Canada has issued a special weather statement for most the province due to high temperatures

VIDEO: Canadian toddler caught practising hockey skills in crib

Eli Graveline is getting praise from far and wide as the internet freaks out of cute throwback video

B.C. teacher ends Jeopardy! winning streak, taking home US$69,000

Ali Hasan, from New Westminster, has been gaining fans as a “one-man invasion,” says Alex Trebek

Jett Woo highlights 5 Canucks choices on Day 2 of NHL entry draft

WHL star out of Moose Jaw tabbed in Round 2

In a matter of hours, women in Saudi Arabia will be allowed to drive

Change was announced as a royal decree in 2017 by Crown Prince Mohammen bin Salman

Feds announce measures to protect endangered whale species

Canada’s Whale Initiative is part of the federal government’s $1.5 billion Ocean Protection Plan

COC session vote approves Calgary as potential host for 2026 Olympics

Scott Hutcheson, chair of Calgary’s Olympic bid corporation — called vote a positive step forward

B.C. man wins job he was denied after saying he had depression

Transport Canada has been order to give Chris Hughes a high-level job and nearly $500,000

B.C. soldier shot down a century ago to be honoured

Norman Stuart Harper, of Kamloops, was killed on a bombing mission over Lahr, Germany, in 1918

Trump sends letter to Trudeau calling for increase in NATO defence spending

The letter comes as tensions between Canada and the United States have risen to a dramatic high

Most Read