LEAF and the Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA) sent a letter to Newmarket’s Mayor, Deputy Mayor, and City Councillors expressing concerns over Newmarket By-Law 2020-31, which imposes new business licence requirement for Personal Wellness Establishments.

LEAF and CCLA 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 business have successfully acquired this license. LEAF and CCLA have heard many accounts of Newmarket massage parlour businesses receiving notices threatening fines, followed by tickets with increasing fees.

LEAF and CCLA urged the Newmarket City Council to immediately suspend, repeal, and stop enforcement of the By-Law.

To see the full letter, click here or see below.