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Licensing for holistic services in Hamilton

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Meredith MacLeod reports for the Spectator, 21 Dec 2010:

 

http://www.thespec.com/news/local/article/304298--city-thinks-holistic-licence-will-help-rub-out-prostitution

The city is going to licence holistic services in an effort to snuff out illegal body rub parlours after all.

 

City councillors have reversed a planning committee decision that nixed the idea of licensing touch services like aromatherapy, reflexology and hot stone massage.

 

Beginning next year, a new personal wellness services establishment category will require a $300 licence.

 

Councillor Sam Merulla, who has pushed for licensing for close to a decade, says he was ?shocked? by the committee?s decision this month. He blamed it on new councillors not understanding the purpose of the bylaw and a marathon planning committee meeting that perhaps gave short shrift to the discussion.

 

Committee meeting decisions have to be ratified by full council and Merulla convinced his colleagues to back the licensing last week.

 

Merulla said body rub parlours that are a front for prostitution rings often call themselves aromatherapy or massage parlours. He believes licensing legitimate practitioners will make it easier for city officials and police to root out the shady operators.

 

?The focus will be on establishing this category and inspecting operations. Any licensed establishments can be subject to a public health inspection at any time. They don?t have to give any notification ? That?s important for us in the name of public health and safety.?

 

He said not establishing the new licensing category made ?winners out of prostitutes and pimps and losers out of the community? and legitimate holistic practitioners.

 

Currently, touch-based services ? including shiatsu and reiki ? that isn?t for medical or therapeutic purposes fall under the city?s body rub provisions. The city is allowed to cap the number of body rub parlours it will licence at two. It?s believed there are about 30 or 35 operating illegally across the city.

 

But Councillor Brad Clark doesn?t think the licensing will go far towards dealing with that problem. He says the city has to get tough about shutting down the known illegal operators with joint city and police enforcement.

 

?These guys are really creative and until we get aggressive, they will just get around the licensing? We have to say enough is enough and clamp down on it.?

 

Reflexologist Peter Clemens is glad to see the licensing.

 

?It makes a distinction between professionals and sleazy body rubs. It bothers me when people go for a reflexology treatment and get charged $70 and the person isn?t registered. I put a lot of time, energy and money into getting registered.?

 

To get licensed, practitioners must prove their training and experience and that they have insurance.

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Heyy Wrink thx for the info!

 

Meredith MacLeod reports for the Spectator, 21 Dec 2010:

 

http://www.thespec.com/news/local/article/304298--city-thinks-holistic-licence-will-help-rub-out-prostitution

The city is going to licence holistic services in an effort to snuff out illegal body rub parlours after all.

 

City councillors have reversed a planning committee decision that nixed the idea of licensing touch services like aromatherapy, reflexology and hot stone massage.

 

Beginning next year, a new personal wellness services establishment category will require a $300 licence.

 

Councillor Sam Merulla, who has pushed for licensing for close to a decade, says he was ?shocked? by the committee?s decision this month. He blamed it on new councillors not understanding the purpose of the bylaw and a marathon planning committee meeting that perhaps gave short shrift to the discussion.

 

Committee meeting decisions have to be ratified by full council and Merulla convinced his colleagues to back the licensing last week.

 

Merulla said body rub parlours that are a front for prostitution rings often call themselves aromatherapy or massage parlours. He believes licensing legitimate practitioners will make it easier for city officials and police to root out the shady operators.

 

?The focus will be on establishing this category and inspecting operations. Any licensed establishments can be subject to a public health inspection at any time. They don?t have to give any notification ? That?s important for us in the name of public health and safety.?

 

He said not establishing the new licensing category made ?winners out of prostitutes and pimps and losers out of the community? and legitimate holistic practitioners.

 

Currently, touch-based services ? including shiatsu and reiki ? that isn?t for medical or therapeutic purposes fall under the city?s body rub provisions. The city is allowed to cap the number of body rub parlours it will licence at two. It?s believed there are about 30 or 35 operating illegally across the city.

 

But Councillor Brad Clark doesn?t think the licensing will go far towards dealing with that problem. He says the city has to get tough about shutting down the known illegal operators with joint city and police enforcement.

 

?These guys are really creative and until we get aggressive, they will just get around the licensing? We have to say enough is enough and clamp down on it.?

 

Reflexologist Peter Clemens is glad to see the licensing.

 

?It makes a distinction between professionals and sleazy body rubs. It bothers me when people go for a reflexology treatment and get charged $70 and the person isn?t registered. I put a lot of time, energy and money into getting registered.?

 

To get licensed, practitioners must prove their training and experience and that they have insurance.

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