The use of public video surveillance for policing, although common in the UK since the 1980s, has until recently not been politically palatable in other countries. E.g., the Supreme Court of Canada case of Aubry v. Éditions Vice-Versa inc., in which a photo was of a person in public was published in a magazine without that person's permission. Employers may ask themselves if such cameras can be legitimately installed in their premises, and employees, on the other hand, may fear constant monitoring. Francine Charbonneau, Quebec’s minister responsible for seniors, said the new rules balance a patient’s right to have their security monitored while protecting the reputations of staff. Determining whether there is a valid reason for the surveillance depends on the specific circumstances and must be based on objective facts. Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion and encourage all readers to share their views on our articles. Accordingly, the grievance was dismissed and the surveillance system was allowed to  remain in place. However, while protection of the employer’s property can justify the installation of a surveillance system, a single isolated act of vandalism will not necessarily constitute sufficient grounds for conducting video surveillance. The notion of the state being able to watch one while one is walking down the street conjures up comparisons with Nineteen Eighty-Four's telescreens. Chapter 15 of the statutes of 2012, that is, the Act to modify the rules governing the use of photo radar devices and red light camera systems and amend other legislative provisions, confirmed the permanent use of photo radar devices on Québec’s road network. Video surveillance may be compatible with the Charter where it is carried out for a legitimate reason and by reasonable means, such that employees’ rights are infringed to the least extent possible. The case law provides that surveillance may be justified in certain circumstances. He also noted that access to the video recording was limited to a very few people and that the images were only being kept for a few days. We certainly see that things are all over the map,” Meadus said. 2015T-1473 Par. The new Quebec rules, which come into effect on March 7, give the green light for long-term care residents to install cameras or use smart phones for video surveillance, with or without permission from the institution itself. Photographs also showed punctures in the walls. The purpose of the guidelines was to assist provincial and municipal public sector institutions (institutions) in determining whether video surveillance programs were lawful and justifiable. Finally, the arbitrator emphasized that the intrusion was minimal, as the camera could not track the movements of individual employees or zoom in on any individual. First, he indicated that the employer had established that it had a serious reason for installing the camera, as the evidence showed the extent of the damage caused by the acts of vandalism, and the case law recognizes that protecting the employer’s property is a serious and concrete ground justifying the installation of a surveillance system. Guidelines for Overt Video Surveillance in the Private Sector ... camera is subject to privacy laws. This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below. Stay informed. For example, courts have recognized that repeated occurrence of theft, fraud and vandalism are sufficient grounds for the installing of cameras by the employer. The ministry hasn’t received any requests for such a regulation but is open to discussions, she said. Under the Act, overt surveillance is unlawful unless notice has been given in advance (minimum 14 days before surveillance starts). When the surveillance will commence; 3. The use of video surveillance to detect, deter and prosecute crime has increased significantly over the last few years—in Canada and abroad. To help organizations achieve compliance with private sector privacy legislation, the offices of the federal, B.C. The purpose of this article is to expose how video-camera surveillance can be an effective tool for employers who want to visually monitor their employees. Wouldn't posting the photos or videos online potentially breach privacy laws in Quebec? A spokeswoman for Minister of Health and Long-Term Care Eric Hoskins said the ministry has no plans for a similar regulation in Ontario. In this particular instance, the acts of vandalism were recurrent and rather serious. We ask you to keep your comments relevant and respectful. tap here to see other videos from our team. COVID-19: the government is tightening restrictions; how will this impact employers? Video showing a personal support worker punching a resident at the city's Garry J Armstrong facility helped secure the PSW's assault conviction. If, however, the camera is installed as an investigative aid for a specific time to monitor an area for suspected criminal activity, the surveillance is likely justified. This article will first provide an overview of the law in Quebec regarding the use of surveillance cameras in the workplace. It’s not there, for example, to see if mom has a boyfriend. Sign up to receive daily headline news from Ottawa Citizen, a division of Postmedia Network Inc. A welcome email is on its way. Quebec unveiled new rules Tuesday governing the use of surveillance cameras in the province’s long-term care facilities and an advocate for Ontario’s elderly says the Ontario government should consider doing the same. That’s a problem if the resident is not in the room at the time or is unaware their family has installed a camera, Meadus said. We will then analyze the recent arbitration decision in Aliments Multibar Inc. et Unifor, section locale 6981, in order to illustrate how the criteria used by courts are applied in assessing the legality of installing surveillance cameras. The legal battle began in 2012 when Sysco Quebec installed both driver and outward facing cameras on its fleet of trucks. ... Quebec’s An Act Respecting the Protection of Personal Information in the Private Sector. By continuing to use our site, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. As a general rule, constant video surveillance of employees in the workplace is an infringement of their rights under section 46 of Quebec’s Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms (the “Charter”) which provides as follows: The camera was installed by the resident's family. However, this practice gives rise to several questions. In this matter, the employer had experienced several incidents of vandalism in the electrical mechanics’ workshop. This article first appeared in French in the June 2016 edition of VigieRT, a publication of the Quebec Association of Certified Human Resources Professionals. There is no criminal sanction against photographing or filming people or property open to public view. There was an error, please provide a valid email address. Further, the arbitrator considered the other possibilities available to the employer for uncovering the source of the problem. Police and law enforcement authorities increasingly view it as a legitimate tool to combat crime and ward off criminal activity—including terrorism. The arbitrator also noted that the camera had been installed with the full knowledge of all the employees. Quebec sets rules for use of surveillance cameras in long-term care homes, Inside the Ottawa Hospital's World Class Care. This website uses cookies to personalize your content (including ads), and allows us to analyze our traffic. “It is a mass surveillance device,” says Parsons, who co-authored a detailed paper last year about the capabilities of IMSI-catchers and what is known about their use in Canada. “That’s one of the first things we say is that we don’t recommend audio taping because the person might not be in the room and then you have a problem. Ultimately, video surveillance in the workplace is an exceptional measure whose legitimacy is to be determined on a case-by-case basis. In a question and answer format, this document sets out the principles for evaluating the use of video surveillance and for ensuring that its impact on privacy is minimized. More specifically, video surveillance will be permitted if the following criteria are met: Consequently, employers wishing to use such a mean of surveillance must be able to show that installing video cameras is a minimal infringement on the employees’ right to fair and reasonable conditions of employment. Privacy Laws Regarding Your Neighbor’s Property As a starting point, a person has no legal entitlement to expect privacy when in clear view of members of the public. On the other hand, surveillance of expensive machinery, the desire to protect employees without demonstrating that their safety is at risk, and the intent to dissuade employees from engaging in reprehensible conduct have been deemed insufficient grounds for installing video cameras. © 2021 Ottawa Citizen, a division of Postmedia Network Inc. All rights reserved. Use our site, you have to make sure you’re using it for appropriate purposes.” before they work! 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