As of March 31, Yellow Pages will no longer provide on-line advertising under the heading "escort services."
In a registered letter sent to customers last week, Yellow Pages stated the company will also stop providing print advertising for escort services as of May 1.
The reason for the immediate cancellation of escort advertising contracts is Canada's new anti-prostitution laws enacted in Dec. 2014. According to Yellow Pages, Article 286.4 "makes knowingly advertising an offer to provide sexual services an indictable offence punishable by imprisonment."
In addition, "Yellow Pages will evaluate all businesses under non-registered Massage, Adult Entertainment and similar headings on a case-by-case basis, and remove those that do not comply with the legislation."
This decision by Yellow Pages affects scores of triple-x businesses throughout B.C., who rely on business directories to attract good clientele.
"This is counter-productive," says Andrew Sorfleet, president of Triple-X. "Yellow Pages businesses are some of the safest places to work. These businesses do everything by the book. They pay their taxes, they are insured, they have city business licences and security systems.
"No where do these ads say that these businesses are selling sex. This is a very narrow and inaccurate interpretation of the law."