A bureau to regulate Quebec’s alarm industry to take center stage

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Friday, April 1, 2005

QUEBEC - A bill drafted to develop a Bureau of Private Security for the security industry here is currently waiting approval.

Bill 88 would dispense control of the private security industry to a council to standardize the industry in Quebec, which without government regulation would become the first of its kind for the security industry in Canada.

The group would shape industry standards and issue permits to businesses and individuals in areas, such as electronic security, locksmiths, private guards, value transportation, private investigators and internal security organizations. Currently, the security industry has no regulations-only the private guard and private investigator industry here require permits. In addition, each sector will have a minimum training criteria developed by the bureau such as an ethics code.

The bill is expected to be passed this spring.

The inception of the bill stems from the Private Security Reform Act, which did not pass after committee discussions. However, a white paper drafted in 2003, outlined findings from the private security reform act. But the Canadian Security Association chapter of Quebec and other industry members felt the proposed changes did not mirror the industry at the time. They wanted a bill that reflected the reality of the industry, Norman Fiset, president of Quebec’s chapter of the Canadian Security Association, said. So in August, a new committee collaborated with the Public Security Minister to draft Bill 88.

“It will create fair competition while making sure all agencies follow regulations or risk losing their license or even face criminal charges,” Fiset said.

Fiset said a company will need an agency permit and the people working for a company would need an agent permit.

The fees will be established once the Bureau of Private Security is passed, he said.

“The permit fees from the agencies and agents will go to the Bureau of Private Security so it can be self financed,” Fiset said. “The bureau is meant to be a nonprofit organization, but may decide to obtain revenue through other activities, as required to cover expenses.”

The bureau plans to have 11 members in total - seven from industry associations and four government representatives of the province.

The development of the bureau will increase the perception and professionalism of the industry.

“For our industry, the electronic security industry, it should help reduce false alarms, since by regulations we will be in a position to adopt standards such as alarm verification prior to dispatch,” he said.

Fiset is confident that if passed, the industry will ensure the professionalism that it has strived for throughout the drafting of the legislature.

“This is a voice of the industry, tomorrow it will be the industry that it should be.”