New law to impose strict rules on police record checks in Ontario
By The Canadian PressNews Public Sector
TORONTO - There will soon be stricter limits on what police record checks can disclose in Ontario.
Civil liberties advocates have long complained that non-conviction records such as mental health information and acquittals have been inappropriately disclosed.
There is currently no provincewide standard on what type of information can be disclosed but the Liberal government intends to create those standards with the Police Record Checks Reform Act.
Community Safety Minister Yasir Naqvi says Ontarians have lost their jobs or have lost out on volunteer opportunities because of disclosed mental health records or simply because they witnessed a crime.
Under the act, non-convocation records such as withdrawn charges, acquittals and findings of not criminally responsible by reason of mental disorder could only be disclosed through some vulnerable sector checks.
Police interactions known as carding and mental health interactions such as suicide attempts could not be disclosed under this legislation.
Ontario’s privacy commissioner has slammed the practice of police sharing information such as suicide attempts with border services, which has led to Canadians being turned away at the border, but this legislation does not cover sharing of information across law enforcement agencies.
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