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Herberman returns to lead role on Bill 159

It’s been two years since the Ontario Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services first announced it was going to overhaul legislation governing private investigators and security guards, and the man in charge of leading the development of Bill 159 says it won’t be complete by the anticipated time frame of spring 2007. 




December 11, 2006
By Jennifer Brown


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Jon Herberman, Registrar and Director of the Private Investigators and
Security Guards branch at the Ministry of Community Safety and
Correctional Services, has returned to his post after a year-long
assignment to the Police Support Services Branch. In his absence,
Herberman’s role was filled by Michael McBain, manager of the
Ministry’s Corporate Policy Branch.

Bill 159 received third reading and royal assent in December 2005 and
makes licensing and training for those in the private security industry
mandatory. It also makes the Corps of Commissionaires and in-house
security staff, such as those working for retailers, bars, subject to
the terms of the Act. Previous to the creation of the new statute, those groups were exempt.

However, much of the work on the Act, including the highly anticipated
new regulations on licensing, training and use of force, has yet to be
completed.
Some in the private security industry suggest the industry
consultations have taken too long with little result, but Herberman
says the work has been progressing at a steady pace.

“I don’t think things have stalled at all,” Herberman said in an
interview with Canadian Security. “The committee has been working hard
on the development of all the regulations pursuant to the Act. It
received third reading and since that time Ministry staff have been
working with the advisory committee, meeting monthly and they’ve made a
lot of progress in the last year. Several key regulations have been
developed.”

To date, Herberman says regulations have been established and reviewed
by the Minister for prescribed offences, code of conduct and vehicles
and uniforms, which acknowledges “generated a lot of discussion.” The
list of prescribed offences outlines a list of offences that would
prohibit an individual from becoming a licenced security provider.

“Basically a clear criminal record is required,” he said.

However, details for those policy items that have been set will not be
revealed until all regulations have been completed. It came as a
surprise to some members of the advisory sub-committee that policy
direction for items such as uniforms had been arrived because full
consensus had not been met.
The advisory committee has not met since October 24 but is scheduled to
meet again in February.

Meanwhile, the entire curriculum for training has yet to be identified.
Some of the major issues outstanding include whether hand-cuffing will
still be permitted, which was the major cause for the Shand inquest,
the incident that sparked the review of the Act in the first place. As
well, development of trainer standards and testing protocols remain undecided.
Re-certification has also yet to be established.

“The sub-committee, in my humble opinion has been filibusted,” said
Steve Summerville, a subject matter expert and a former police officer
who testified at the Shand inquest.

Patrick Shand was a Toronto man who
died after an altercation with employees of a grocery store and
security guards. The coroner’s jury made 22 recommendations on
training, licensing and standards for security practitioners.

"We’re no
further ahead than Dec. 15 last year when the law came out and we’re
just one more court case or one more coronor’s inquest away from saying
Mr. Shand died for what reason? What did we as a community learn from
that? “The jury spoke very clearly with their 22 recommendations and
five months later a majority Liberal government answered to it but we
need education to improve the situation so it doesn’t occur again.”

While the company Summerville works for, MKD International, provides
training to the security industry, he says his primary concern is that
education is needed to keep the public and those in the private
security industry safe.

“The number one factor from the Shand inquest has yet to be
identified,” he said. “Under Bill C-45 if you put an employee at risk
in the workplace, you’re criminally responsible and that’s the only
thing that’s going to wake up some people in this industry.”

Work continues on the highly-anticipated testing and training
regulations but exactly when it will be completed, Herberman can’t say.

“It’s not in anybody’s best interest to rush any of this. It will take
as much time as it takes to do it properly,” he said, adding it can
take “a few years” to put legislation like this into effect.

In terms of developing the training standards, while some had thought
the province would adopt the Canadian General Standards Board (CGSB)
requirements, Herberman says because the Act includes private
investigators, and the CGSB does not cover that profession, the
standard will have to be broader.

Many organizations are concerned that the new Act will mean increased
costs to educate security guards and bring them up to the standard that
is established. Herberman says that won’t necessarily be true.

“Most companies do their own in-house training and many companies have
expressed strong views that they will continue with their own training
and I’m certainly supportive of moving in that direction.”

Herberman had praise the work accomplished by Michael McBain in his
absence, saying considerable effort was required to set up the
infrastructure required to manage the requirements of the new act once
it is finalized.


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