An Oct. 13 Toronto Star report claiming the Canadian government is set to add strippers and escorts to its national job bank is “completely and utterly false,” says a spokesman for the government.

The Star cited an Oct. 1 ‘draft memo’ from Human Resources and Skills Development Canada that said occupations such as exotic dancer, nude dancer, striptease dancer, and escort, among others, would “be acceptable for posting on Job Bank,” a service of Human Resources Development Canada.

The piece, written by Star reporter Richard J. Brennan, suggested the “surprise” memo was a change in Conservative policy, noting that the party had previously labeled such professions “morally offensive.”

Brennan quoted opposition members and stakeholders, but according to the government he failed to contact them before running the piece. “If he had, he would have learned that there is absolutely no basis in fact to claim this is government policy,” said Ryan Sparrow, director of communications for Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development Diane Finley. “The ‘draft note’ cited by the reporter has not been seen by the Minister’s office, nor would it ever have been a policy under consideration by our government.”

Sparrow said it is the “height of irresponsible journalism” that the Star would “accuse” the government of changing policy without contacting them for confirmation.  “It is ironic that the Toronto Star only seeks comment on the legitimacy of the story the day after the story ran,” he added.

The report came amidst ongoing reports by the Star favoring the recent Ontario Superior Court decision striking down several of Canada’s prostitution laws. The report about the Job Bank was apparently an attempt to embarrass the government in light of their strong opposition to the ruling.

Minister Finley’s office announced that they will make formal complaints with the Ontario Press Council, the Parliamentary Press Gallery, and the Star’s public editor. did not hear back from the Star’s publisher, John Cruickshank, by press time.

A version of this article originally appeared Oct. 14 at and is reprinted with permission.