Exotic dancers in southwestern Ontario may become the first in the country required to be fingerprinted for their jobs if a controversial proposal is approved by Niagara Regional Police.
The police service, which licenses more than a dozen professions in the municipalities of Niagara Falls, Thorold, Welland and St. Catharine’s, has been considering the plan for several years as a response to increasing rates of identify theft.
If implemented, mandatory fingerprinting would be enforced for all current regional licensed professions, including strip club owners, tow truck, limousine, shuttle bus and cab drivers. It also would apply to those who own wrecking yards.
Police say the fingerprints would allow them another way to easily verify the validity of these business licences, which already include personal information and photographs.
“The reasoning behind this is to assist in proving one’s identity in this day and age,” Det.-Sgt. Craig Labaune, of the Niagara police bylawlicensing unit, said Monday. “Everyone’s concerned with identify theft.”
The Canadian Constitution Foundation called the proposal “disturbing” and an obvious encroachment on civil liberties.