REGINA – City council’s denial of an application for a proposed strip club has many Reginans hot under the collar.
There was strong opposition to the idea in person, which helped lead council to shoot down the request in a 9-1 vote, delighting an overflow crowd.
Opponents shared reasons ranging from moral to concerns stripping leads to human trafficking.
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“Maybe Regina just isn’t ready for that style of entertainment.”
Mayor Michael Fougere and his council colleagues said they received more feedback on this issue than many other topics.
“I think this represents the general attitude of Regina residents because we had very few people say they wanted us to proceed with it,” Fougere told reporters Monday night.
When all was said and done, there was more anger on social media among those who wanted to see the project go ahead. One reason, many said, was that the proposal for the former Whiskey Saloon location met all city bylaw requirements.
Wade Laurent, a Ward 4 resident, said approval seemed to be a foregone conclusion.
“It’s obvious now the decision wasn’t made,” Laurent said. “Now you’ll see a little more support for the other side.
Regina city council chambers were standing room only Monday night during debate over a proposed strip club.
Mike McKinnon / Global News
The strip club’s lone supporter on council, Ward 3’s Shawn Fraser, believes it’s time to acknowledge that Regina does have an adult entertainment industry.
“The question or me is whether we choose to regulate it or ignore it,” Fraser told Global News. “My preference would be to regulate it and that means having proper bylaws in place and then enforcing those bylaws.”
The proposed operator of the strip club, Bryon Gottfredsen, isn’t sure if he’ll be back. “Maybe Regina just isn’t ready for that style of entertainment,” he said.
Gottfredsen wouldn’t rule out a legal challenge over council’s decision.
New regulations came into effect in 2014, which relaxed liquor laws and allowed for stripping and wet t-shirt contests in drinking establishments. Full-frontal nudity is still prohibited and nipples must be covered.
With all the reaction to this story, it’s expected the heated debate over a licensed strip club in Regina won’t end any time soon.