22 Brockville, Gananoque jobs saved through police record check reform

Local MPP Steve Clark welcomes Community Safety Minister Michael Tibollo to Brockville, Ont. on Saturday, Oct. 27 2018, to announce changes to the criminal background check system. Pictured are Cornwall Police Chief Designate Danny Aikman, Brockville Police Deputy Chief Mark Noonan, MPP Steve Clark, Minister Michael Tibollo, Gananoque Police Chief Garry Hull and Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry MPP Jim McDonell. (MPP Steve Clark via Newswatch Group)

BROCKVILLE – The Progressive Conservative government says it’s saving local jobs by making some last minute changes to the criminal background check system.

Local MPP Steve Clark and Community Safety Minister Michael Tibollo were joined by the deputy police chief from Brockville and chiefs from Gananoque and Cornwall on Saturday afternoon for the announcement in Brockville.

Changes are being made to the Police Record Checks Reform Act.

The law, from the previous Liberal government, comes into effect Nov. 1 and will standardize how police screenings are done. But there was a fear the red tape involved in the new law would see screening firms set up outside Ontario to conduct business.

Criminal background checks are often required when people are applying for a new job or getting involved in community groups, usually involving children.

The criminal background checks are also a significant revenue generator for local police departments while also maintaining jobs. The changes are expected to save a total of a dozen full time and 10 part-time jobs in the Brockville and Gananoque police departments.

Those departments also do some specialized background checks for their communities.

“Criminal record checks have been part of the Brockville Police Service for years. It provides meaningful employment to our community members and an essential service to our community,” Chief Scott Fraser said in a prepared statement.

Gananoque Police Chief Garry Hull added that money from the checks mean there’s “zero net effect on the tax base” for capital projects and any extra money goes into town coffers, “which is always great news for a small town like Gananoque.”

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