Ontario Removing Barriers to Employment and Education
Province Proclaims Police Record Checks Reform Act
Ontario is establishing clear and consistent rules to govern police record checks in the province to protect public safety and strengthen individual civil liberties by removing unnecessary barriers to employment, education and volunteer opportunities.
The Police Record Checks Reform Act prevents the disclosure of unnecessary information in police record checks. The act, which will come into effect on November 1, 2018, standardizes the process by clearly defining three types of police record checks: criminal record checks, criminal record and judicial matters checks, and vulnerable sector checks. It also clearly specifies the information that can be released in each type of record check.
Ontario takes the responsibility of protecting public safety very seriously. For example, the rules around vulnerable sector checks have been rigorously designed to help screen individuals in a position of trust or authority over vulnerable persons, like children or the elderly.
Protecting individual civil liberties and strengthening public safety is part of the government's plan to support care, create opportunity and make life more affordable during this period of rapid economic change. The plan includes free prescription drugs for everyone under 25, and 65 or over, through the biggest expansion of medicare in a generation, free tuition for hundreds of thousands of students, a higher minimum wage and better working conditions, and free preschool child care from 2 ½ to kindergarten.
- A police record check refers to a search of records that are held in police databases pertaining to a specific individual. These checks are often used as part of a screening process for employment, volunteering, and when applying for a professional licence.
- Ontario is the first province in Canada to establish a comprehensive legislative framework for conducting police record checks.
- The Police Record Check Reform Act, 2015 must be reviewed within five years after coming into force.
“People in Ontario must not lose out on opportunities because of an inappropriate disclosure of non-criminal information. It is also vitally important that we have an up-to-date, rigorous record checks process that ensures that employers have access to appropriate information. Our government consulted extensively, and we struck the right balance of ensuring public safety while respecting individual privacy. Once in force, this legislation will bring down barriers to opportunity and will help people across Ontario become more involved in their community.”