Canadian Security Magazine

Six provinces move forward with change

By Brian Robertson   

News Public Sector

In the May 2005 issue of Canadian Security, an article titled Regulation Round-up analyzed the wave of regulatory reform that had just started to break across Canada’s six largest provinces at that time. The regulatory reform process has continued to move forward in all six of those jurisdictions. In fact, there have been significant developments in the regulatory reform process in every single one of those provinces just since the beginning of this year.

Here’s a breakdown of what’s been happening.

: In May 2005, Ontario’s Private Security and Investigative
Services Act
(PSISA) had just received Second Reading at Queen’s Park.
In December 2005, it received third and final reading, although much of
the Act remains unproclaimed. In March and April of this year — as a
result of a year-and-a-half of consultations between Ministry staff and
industry representatives on the Private Security and Investigative
Services Advisory Committee (PSISAC) — the province was able to release
drafts of the first six set of regulations which are proposed to be
adopted under PSISA. These include regulations which will establish a
code of conduct for licensees under the Act, as well as some of the
most detailed regulations yet drafted in a Canadian jurisdiction to
address the issue of use of dogs by licensed security personnel.
There are big changes coming under PSISA in Ontario, including the
licensing of proprietary security, retail LPOs, bouncers, bodyguards,
and in-house private investigators. But it is still unclear how soon
these provisions will come into force. There will be mandatory training
for various categories of licensed personnel under PSISA. Thanks in
part to the findings of the Patrick Shand inquest, the training
requirement for at least some security personnel will include physical
skills training on arrest and control tactics. However, Ontario
Registrar Jon Herberman has recently indicated that the specific
curriculum for mandatory training, as well as the specific mechanisms
for training delivery, have yet to be established.

Manitoba: In
December 2005, Manitoba’s Legislative Assembly also passed its new
legislation, in the form of the Private Investigators and Security
Guards Amendment Act, although the provisions under this Act did not
finally come into force until January of this year. However, when they
did come into force, Manitoba became the first province in Canada to
impose a licensing requirement on proprietary security personnel
(including retail loss prevention officers), as well as the fourth
province in Canada to impose a mandatory training requirement for
security patrol personnel based on the training standard for security
guards set down by the Canadian General Standards Board (CGSB).
Although a brief six-month implementation phase has been permitted, the
requirement that proprietary personnel be licensed will start being
enforced this summer.

British Columbia: B.C. released the first draft of it’s new legislation
for public comment in October 2002. In early March, the
four-and-a-half-year wait for legislation to arrive on the floor of the
B.C. legislature came to an end with the first and second readings of
the new Security Services Act. This legislation encompasses many of the
key reforms which were proposed in the province’s 2002 discussion
papers, reforms which are now common to new legislation in other
provinces as well. B.C. plans to licence not just proprietary security
officers, but also retail loss prevention officers, bouncers, and
in-house private investigators. B.C. also plans to repeal its
long-standing prohibition on the use of handcuffs by licensed security

Alberta: In May 2006, Alberta had just set up a review committee of the
legislature to take a look at private security regulation in that
province. After a year-and-a-half of industry consultations, that
committee officially released its final report and recommendations in
early March of this year. The province has indicated its intention to
move toward the introduction of new legislation in the fall, and has
asked industry representatives to submit written comments on the
recently-released report and recommendations by the end of May.
Although the recommendations for regulatory reform in Alberta do not
cover as many sectors as are captured in some other provinces (Alberta
does not, for instance, appear to be considering licensing bouncers as
security personnel), some of the measures that the province is
considering are quite ground-breaking. These include licensing retail
loss prevention officers in a category separate from both security
guards and private investigators, and licensing alarm response
personnel who work for otherwise unregulated alarm service businesses.

Nova Scotia: After what had seemed to many security industry veterans
like decades of informal discussions, the province released a
discussion paper on regulatory reform at the end of January and sought
fairly specific industry feedback on the issues it raises. Nova
Scotia’s discussion paper is similar to the discussion paper Ontario
released in 2003. It is offered as a stimulus to dialogue but is worded
in a manner which strongly “telegraphs” the directions in which the
province already knows that it wants to go. As regulatory reform
packages go, it is fairly broad-sweeping. The province clearly intends
to do what most other provinces have done by imposing both licensing
and mandatory training requirements on proprietary personnel, retail
LPOs, and bouncers. However, the province also appears to be interested
in imposing licensing on security technology businesses like alarm
companies — something which only B.C. presently does and which only
Quebec proposes to start doing.

Quebec: In May 2005, Quebec’s new Private Security Act had received
first reading. It was a year later, in June of 2006, when the
legislation passed. Now, a year later, the legislation has yet to be
proclaimed and brought into force. However, just last month information
was released regarding which Quebec security industry associations have
been selected by the Minister to make appointments to the board of
directors of le Bureau de la sécurité privée. Seven associations
representing seven sectors will appoint representatives to occupy seven
out of the eleven seats on what will be the first ever provincial
security industry licensing board in Canada. Once the first board of
directors starts to meet, they will immediately become involved in
advising the Minister on what the content of the regulations under the
Act should be.
Many of the provincial security statutes that are now being replaced
across the country have been in place, unchanged, for 25 to 35 years.
There will be significant changes occurring in most provinces on an
on-going basis for most of the next five to 10 years. Stay tuned. Ӣ

Brian Robertson is a member of, and national regulatory affairs advisor
with the national Board of Directors of the Canadian Society for
Industrial Security.

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