What police can and can’t include in a background check is now being standardized across every police organization across Ontario.
On Tuesday, Queen’s Park unanimously passed the Police Records Checks Reform Act through a third reading, by a vote of 93-0.
The legislation will limit what information police can share with businesses and organizations in background checks.
When the act is officially activated, it will eliminate non-conviction records (withdrawn charges, dismissed charges, and acquittal or not criminally responsible designations) from most background checks.
The aforementioned exemptions may still be disclosed in a background check conducted for somebody seeking employment or a volunteer opportunity with children or seniors. In that case, however, police will be allowed to decide the relevance of non-conviction records to whatever job an applicant has applied for.
Your basic, standard background check will only include criminal convictions and findings of guilt under the Youth Criminal Justice Act.
Why wasn’t this done sooner? Do you have previous marks on your record that have unexpectedly appeared on a background check? Do you think any and all encounters with law enforcement and the justice system, no matter the outcome, should be included in a check so that an employer has as clearer picture of who you are?