Massage parlour proposal gets Mammoliti all fired up
City Hall watchers may want to keep their eyes peeled for surprise motions or other funny business from the Ford team in the next couple of days because Giorgio Mammoliti has already laid the groundwork for a diversion. Or is it that he's just that hypocritical? Either way, the latest fuss from the Ward 7 councillor involves a proposal from a staff committee to increase significantly the number of permits issued to massage parlours in Toronto. There are currently 25 licensed establishments of this type in the city, but likely hundreds more that operate illegally.
"This will make us the biggest pimps in North America," Mammoliti said of the idea â which is actually just one of a number of options the committee is considering. But, wait a minute, I thought we already were the biggest pimps around? So it's not the first time Mammoliti's railed against massage parlours, but, lest we forget, this is the same politician who thinks turning the Toronto Islands into a red light district is a good idea. "The [prostitution] industry exists and we're not making a penny from it . . . I haven't raised it with the mayor and his people yet, but I will," he said back in March.
Needless to say, nothing has come of the idea to turn the Islands into a sin city. But it would seem that for Mammoliti the issue is one of compartmentalization. Although he's fond of dropping the p-word, his previous discourse suggests that he's all for the city cultivating profit from sex work â just not if it's in his neighbourhood. "People should know that some of these massage parlours may be coming to their community real soon." There's real discussion to be had here about the benefits and drawbacks of licensing additional massage parlours, but the layers of hypocrisy that mark Mammoliti's response make it virtually impossible take anything he has to say seriously.
Photo by Metrix X in the blogTO Flickr pool
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