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CCLA and the Women’s Legal Education & Action Fund (LEAF) sent a letter to Newmarket’s Mayor, Deputy Mayor and City Councillors expressing our shared concern over Newmarket By-Law 2020-31. The by-law imposes new business license requirements for personal wellness establishments. CCLA and LEAF are concerned that the by-law has a discriminatory impact by forcing primarily low-income Asian massage parlour workers – most of whom are women – out of work, violating their right to equality guaranteed under section 15 of the Charter.

While four personal wellness establishments have received the business license, none of the existing Asian-owned or operated businesses have successfully acquired one. We have heard accounts of Newmarket massage parlour businesses receiving notices threatening fines, followed by tickets with increasing fees.

CCLA and LEAF urge Newmarket’s City Council to immediately suspend, repeal, and stop enforcement of the by-law. 


About the Canadian Civil Liberties Association

The CCLA is an independent, non-profit organization with supporters from across the country. Founded in 1964, the CCLA is a national human rights organization committed to defending the rights, dignity, safety, and freedoms of all people in Canada.

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