The previous Liberal government passed new legislation, Bill 113: Police Record Checks Reform Act, which will come into effect on November 1, 2018. It improves privacy for individuals but included a provision that made the process onerous. The required red tape would have meant that businesses doing record checks would move out of Ontario or shut down. Most applicants self-declare their convictions (or lack thereof) and consent to the check when applying but before the change, and after the check was done, they would have needed to consent again to full details being released. Now the report will just verify their declaration (or otherwise) and no second consent is required. Other jurisdictions do not have the same convoluted requirements. The requirements effectively meant that record check businesses outside Ontario would get all the work. In the case of the Cobourg Police Business services, it meant that they were in danger of shutting down.
However, the problem was brought to the attention of MPP David Piccini who in turn talked to Michael Tibollo, Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services. The Minister said that because the Ford Government was “for the people” and wants to create and preserve jobs, the change was expedited to be ready for the November 1 effective date.
As a result, the required regulations were modified so that while privacy provisions were maintained, the red tape was removed – see photo at right!
Cobourg Police Business Services can now continue as before and even expand – in 2019 Chief Kai Liu expects to hire an additional 10 clerks and institute a midnight shift. This change was announced on Saturday at an event at the Venture 13 building. Since Port Hope also has a similar business checking records, they were also concerned. Both MPP Piccini and the Minister were there along with representatives from the police and councils: Police Board chairs from Cobourg and Port Hope, Police Chiefs from Cobourg and Port Hope, Mayor Gil Brocanier, incoming Mayor John Henderson, incoming Deputy Mayor Suzanne Séguin, incoming councillors Nicole Beatty and Adam Bureau and a Port Hope councillor.
In his remarks, Minister Tibollo emphasized Premier Ford’s support of the Police and knowledge of the issue.
Chief Kai Liu said that profit from the business has been used for capital requirements such as cars and the renovation costs for their Venture 13 location. Mayor Brocanier supported that with his comment that the Police Capital requirements in the Town’s 2018 budget were limited to $100K.
In a separate discussion, Chief Kai Liu told me that full financial details of the business unit are not made public to avoid giving their competitors key information. In any event, it is kept at arm’s length so any losses do not impact the Town (see link below re MOU).
- Initial Report on Police Business Services – 15 November 2016
- 2018 Report on Police including Business Services – 26 October 2018
- Town and Police Board to sign MOU – 7 May 2018