New technology leads B.C. legislature to propose new law

Wednesday, January 1, 2003

VANCOUVER, British Columbia -In response to massive technological growth in the last two decades, British Columbia is proposing a new law to expand the licensing of security employees in the province.

According to the British Columbia Solicitor General’s office, the proposed Security Personnel and Agencies Act seeks to ensure that security clearances and minimum training standards are applied consistently across the industry.

The proposed act would replace the existing Private Investigators and Security Agencies Act, which was passed in 1980.

Information supplied by the solicitor general’s office said the government is seeking to pass the new law because the current law “no longer reflects the needs of the industry or the public.”

A representative from the British Columbia Solicitor General’s office did not return calls seeking comment.

Peter Moore, president of the British Columbia chapter of the Canadian Alarm and Security Association (CANASA), agreed that the law needed to be brought up to date. “I think it’s well in need of an update; the old act is 22 years old,” said Moore.

One of the biggest changes in the law is that for the first time it would require CCTV installers to undergo a security check and be licensed. Previously, there was no specific mention of CCTV installers in the law.

Moore said that he agrees with the provision requiring CCTV installers to be licensed. According to Moore, when the old act was passed, CCTV technology was still in its infancy.

“Things have changed,” Moore said. “CCTV business, for instance, is huge compared to what it was 22 years ago.”

“CCTV is quite a common thing now, (then) it was quite rare,” Moore continued.

“Thirty years ago, there hadn’t been much change in the world for many years,” Moore added. “These last 30 years, the world has gone completely upside down…with the change in technology, there has to be some change in the laws.”

Moore said he feels that for the most part, the British Columbia chapter of CANASA is in favor of the new security act. “Most people that I have talked to that have read (the act) are in favor of it, with some modifications,” said Moore.

Moore declined to discuss any possible modifications that CANASA is planning to suggest to the solicitor general, saying he would prefer to wait until after he had a chance to discuss those suggestions with the solicitor general’s office.

The British Columbia legislature is expected to take action on the act sometime shortly after it reconvenes in February.