Adult DVD seizure mystifies Heights merchant

Amanda Dumont, owner of Roxy
Amanda Dumont, owner of Roxy's Lingerie & Gifts in North Burnaby, is complaining of government censorship after Consumer Protection BC seized 47 DVDs included with adult magazines she has for sale.
— image credit: Wanda Chow/NewsLeader

The owner of a North Burnaby sex store is decrying the seizure on Tuesday of adult DVDs that she didn't have government approval to sell.

Amanda Dumont, 27, opened Roxy's Lingerie and Gifts in a strip mall at the corner of Hastings Street and Macdonald Avenue in March.

Calling it a "sexual health and wellness store," she said, "I don't think a lot of people are open [about their sexual health] … I wanted to do a nice boutique that's more geared towards women."

No one under age 18 is allowed in the store, and a sign on the front door sets that out clearly. The windows are frosted. Along with lingerie, sex toys, and other accessories and gifts, the store also has a section of adult magazines and DVDs.

Dumont said she received her licence to sell the adult movies from Consumer Protection BC, which also does film classification and enforces the province's Motion Picture Act. Such vendors can only sell adult DVDs that carry a decal indicating they've been approved by the provincial government.

On Tuesday, an inspector from Consumer Protection was carrying out an inspection as part of the licensing process when he determined 47 DVDs were not approved for sale and seized them. Titles included "Sinful Passions" and "Video Vixens."

Dumont, who wasn't present during the seizure, believes they were all free DVDs offered as a "bonus" with adult magazines such as Penthouse and Hustler, leaving her magazine rack almost empty.

"I don't think it's right they're censoring movies when people can watch anything on TV and online," she said. "Children can see that [material at home]."

She's got the support of her friend Tony, who wouldn't give his last name but said he had been in the adult store business for many years.

"In the Constitution we're guaranteed freedom of speech and we're not getting it," said Tony.

He said the censorship doesn't make sense when all sorts of explicit material is freely available elsewhere.

"Just watch the TV at night and on the Internet, it's crazy. So [Consumer Protection BC is] living in a dreamland, in the past."

A Consumer Protection BC spokeswoman confirmed by email that it has an "open investigation" into the matter.

"In fairness to the licensee and to maintain the integrity of the investigative processes, it would be inappropriate for me to share details at this time. However, I can tell you that the Motion Picture Act lays out various responsibilities and requirements for businesses involved in the distribution and exhibition of films in BC.

"This law also gives Consumer Protection BC the authority to inspect these businesses to assess compliance with the legislation."

As of Wednesday, Dumont had not yet decided whether or not to appeal the seizure.

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