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Strip club

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Licensed strip clubs are no longer allowed in Saskatchewan, but the government says it will make an exception for charitable events once a year.

Premier Brad Wall announced last month that his government would reverse its decision to allow licensed strip clubs because of concerns about human trafficking and sexual exploitation.

Mr. Wall said he believed it had been a mistake to change provincial liquor laws to allow partial stripping in bars.

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The revised regulations will allow striptease entertainment in places such as theatres, casinos and exhibition halls once a year with a special permit.

Don McMorris, minister responsible for the Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority, said the exception is being made because there are worthy fundraising events that include striptease entertainment.

"But any permanent liquor-licence place such as a bar would not be allowed," he said on Thursday. "It would only be on special permits."

He said if communities want to hold charitable striptease events at smaller venues, organizers can apply through the Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority. Performers would still only be allowed to strip down to pasties and underwear.

The government cited an upcoming "Ladies' Night Out! Spring Fever" show at TCU Place in Saskatoon featuring "Canadian Playboyz and Body Heat" as an event that could benefit from the exemption if it were to partner with a charity.

Don Verstraeten owns the Codette Hotel near Nipawin, about 150 kilometres east of Prince Albert. The hotel and bar have had strip shows on weekends since rules were changed in January, 2014, to allow them.

"As of today, this is it," he said. "The main company I work with out of Edmonton is already phoning me and offering their condolences."

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He said he'll do whatever it takes to keep the bar open.

"I'll book bands or book whatever I can to keep people out here. How can you fight the government? It's kind of an open-and-shut case."

In January, Regina city councillors voted to reject a proposal for the city's first licensed strip club. The concept had been approved by the city's planning commission.

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