LAVAL Quebec, October 4, 2005 ( – The mysterious deaths of two young Americans found at the bottom of a gorge in Laval Quebec was eminently preventable if Canadian government officials would have heeded the warnings of anti-trafficking organizations which contested the “exotic dancer” visas which allowed he men into the country.ÂÂ Mark Kraynak, 23, and Steve Wright, 20, entered Canada through an application by a male porn ‘modelling’ agency in the United States called French Connection Français (FCF) run by Stephan Sirard.

The exotic dancer program, which opened wide the doors to the importing of foreign strippers in order to fill so-called ‘labour market needs’ in Canada, has repeatedly come under fire by human rights groups, citing repeated instances of forced prostitution and other forms of exploitation and slavery. In response to numerous complaints from anti-trafficking groups, the Canadian government gave assurances to human rights advocates that “no new applications would be processed for any type of exotic performance until such time as the matter could be reviewed to eliminate the risk of extortion & injury”.

When news broke that Kraynak and Wright were applying to enter Canada under the scheme, along with four other ‘models’, Gregory Carlin of the Irish Anti-Trafficking Coalition (IATC) warned Canadian authorities not to permit the temporary visas.

On June 20, prior to the government’s allowance of the application by FCF, Carlin wrote to Immigration Minister Joe Volpe warning specifically, “I am therefore writing to ask that under no circumstances should any permits be issued to any agency,” such as FCF. Carlin cited problems with the FCF agency and other such agencies noted for shady business.

Moreover, on June 3,ÂU.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice released the fifth annual Department of State Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report which noted “Canada needs to use its anti-trafficking law to vigorously increase investigations, arrests, prosecutions, and convictions of traffickers, especially those who may be abusing visa waivers and entertainment visas.”

The US State Department report noted that Canada’s exotic dancer program is “a type of program that has been abused and exploited by traffickers in many other countries.” In fact the TIP report noted that Canadian officials have acknowledged that the situation has led to forced prostitution.“Officials acknowledge that some women may have been forced into prostitution,” it said. Nonetheless, the Canadian government did not fully shut down the program. Rather it allows strip clubs to apply for such special visas on a case by case basis.“The visa program has not been entirely suspended,” noted the report.

Those warnings went unheeded and the bodies of the two American young men were found in early September after they were missing for ten days.Â

Stephan Sirard of the FCF agency was presented in some news stories as a “family friend”. However, Toronto’s Xtra newspaper (a homosexual-run publication) reports that Sirard, beyond being the FCF CEO, “was with the two men in Montreal before they disappeared in the wee hours of Aug 22.”

Sirard’s past in the business of pedalling flesh has previously been associated with death. Natel King, a 23-year-old, was found dead in a Pennsylvania ravine in March 2004. She also worked for Sirard’s FCF agency.

Police are speculating that the two young men died accidentally after falling into a gorge while trying to escape paying a fee for a taxi trip. However the account is riddled with inconsistencies including the fact that the two men were found with enough money in their pockets to easily pay for the cab ride.Â

The IATC are not persuaded by the speculation being floated to the media by le département de police de Ville de Laval and will be asking Foreign Minister Pierre Pettigrew to report to anti-trafficking groups in the United States & Europe regarding the unexplained deaths of Mark Kraynak and Steve Wright. “The exotic dancer program authorized by Mr Pettigrew in 1998 has been connected to organized crime, slavery, and the trafficking of juveniles and the IATC now hope the deaths of these two young men will see the permit programme finally abolished,” Carlin told