Ontario’s Government for the People is protecting public safety and strengthening protections for privacy with new rules and standards that govern how police record checks are conducted and disclosed in Ontario. An amendment to a regulation under the Police Record Checks Reform Act will safeguard the privacy of the people of Ontario while protecting jobs in several smaller municipalities.

“The Police Record Checks Reform Act sets out consistent standards to govern how police record checks are conducted and disclosed in Ontario,” said Michael Tibollo, Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services. “Individuals consent to what information is being disclosed in advance through a self-declaration so the results released are limited.”

The Police Record Checks Reform Act comes into force on November 1, 2018 and will provide consistency by defining three types of police record checks as well as standardisation of the type of information that can be released. Police record check legislation brought in by the previous government risked the loss of jobs in Ontario as companies contracted to perform background checks considered relocating to jurisdictions with less red tape.

“We are keeping communities safe and protecting privacy rights while cutting red tape and keeping jobs in Ontario,” said Tibollo.

A police record check, which is a search of information in police databases, is one of many tools that organisations can use to screen individuals for suitability for employment, volunteer work, licensing, or other opportunities like admission to an educational program. Many individuals and businesses use police services or firms that conduct background checks required by corporations, volunteer organisations and community groups. This amendment provides similar privacy protections, while allowing search service providers to continue to operate legally in Ontario.

“Some police services in smaller municipalities have developed and are offering specialised services in the record check field” said Tibollo. “It is a win-win for everyone involved, and we are happy to announce that these services and these jobs will be protected by this amendment.”