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Evolution of Investigative Services (C-65)

Introduction


The Canadian government has introduced Bill C-65, which is intended to modernize the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA). The proposed amendments have delivered new requirements for some employers in the federal jurisdiction, as well as certain businesses that operate in multiple jurisdictions. This post provides an overview of Bill C-65's impact on the federal Public Service and businesses alike.


Important messages in this legislation


As you've probably noticed, legislation is a hot topic these days. From the long-awaited regulation of online gaming to the freshly approved requirement that all automated vehicles have a human driver present at all times, there are plenty of laws that affect our daily lives.


As with any new legislation, the purpose and key changes in this law (C-65) may not be immediately clear. However, it's important to understand this legislation because it will affect your investigative services—but only if you're aware of what these changes mean!

The gist of this legislation is that investigators must now report any cases involving minors and vulnerable adults as soon as possible after discovery or suspicion. This means if an investigator suspects their client has been engaging in illegal activity with children or vulnerable adults (e.g., abuse or exploitation), they must notify law enforcement within 24 hours so they can begin an investigation right away.


Modernization of the Occupational Health and Safety Act


The Occupational Health and Safety Act was amended in 1988 by the Ontario government to create a system of health and safety officers for each workplace (including contractors). The officer would be responsible for overseeing the employer’s safety program and investigating accidents. This system has been modified in recent years with the advent of new technologies and ways to investigate incidents at work.


Timeline for implementation of C-65


The government passed Bill C-65 in 2020, which came into force on January 1, 2021. Companies had one year to implement the new requirements and report their findings to FINTRAC—the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada.

Once Bill C-65 was passed, there was an implementation period during which guidance was provided by the government on how to implement it.


How can I respond effectively to Bill C-65?


Bill C-65 is in effect, employers should be prepared to take action.

  • Understand the legislation. You should understand what is expected of you as an employer and what your employees can expect from you in return.

  • Learn about your rights and responsibilities. Employees should also be aware of their rights and responsibilities in this new era of investigative services, but they may not know how to navigate these waters without guidance or support from senior management and Investigative Services providers.

Conclusion


Bill C-65 continues to change how government and business alike have to operate, but it’s not too late to prepare. While the legislation is in effect, organizations continue to require help to make changes to their programs and policies, and their ability to be proactive and reactive effectively.




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