There is a growing trend where employers from all sectors, not just those working with vulnerable populations, are requesting that job applicants provide a criminal record check. Similar to Ontario, in British Columbia, non-conviction records can show up on a police record check and this information can include:
- warrants for arrest
- peace bonds or restraining orders in effect
- information about adverse police contact
- charges approved by Crown Counsel that do not result in convictions
- information related to the Youth Criminal Justice Act
- information about an individual’s mental health
Last October, B.C.’s Office of theInformation and Privacy Commissioner (OIPC) launched an investigation in response to rising concerns around the disclosure of personal information in police information checks. Now the OIPC is requesting public comment on this issue.
An investigation on mental health police records is also underway in Ontario.
A similar investigation is also underway in Ontario with a focus on mental health police records. The resulting report of recommendations is set to be released in April of this year. Ann Cavoukian, Ontario’s information and privacy commissioner, and her office has been meeting with police services, mental health professionals, and mental health organizations including CMHA Ontario during this investigation.
CMHA Ontario is Co-Chair of the Police Records Check Coalition (PRCC), a group of stakeholdes who have been working together to end the discriminatory practice of disclosing non-conviction information, particularly mental health and addictions-related information, on police records. To view the PRCC statement “Requesting, releasing and making decisions based on non-conviction information is discriminatory and stigmatizing,” visit the PRCC website.
For more information on the B.C. OIPC’s Investigation into Police Information Checks and to provide your feedback, please visit the OIPC website.