Ottawa police reinstating fees for some volunteer background checks

You will soon have to pay to get some volunteer background checks from Ottawa police.

A report for the Ottawa Police Services Board recommends reinstating the fees for the Level 3, Volunteer Vulnerable Sector Check.

The board passed a motion in October 2020 to waiver the fees for volunteer background checks during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The volunteer background check fees were described as a barrier to new volunteers, with the pandemic creating financial strains in the community,” staff say in the report for Monday’s Ottawa Police Services Board meeting. The fees were slated to be reinstated once Ottawa entered Stage 3 of the Reopening Action Plan.

The Level 3, Vulnerable Sector Check is for applicants seeking employment and/or volunteering in a position of authority or trust relative to vulnerable persons in Canada only. The fee for the volunteer application is $20.80.

Residents will no longer have to pay for the Level 1, Volunteer Criminal Record Check and the Level 2, Volunteer Criminal Record and Judicial Matters Check, after the Ontario government introduced legislation to waive the volunteer background check applications fees starting April 1. The Ministry of the Solicitor General, Public Safety Division amended the Police Record Checks Reform Act to reduce barriers for volunteers.

Staff say the Level 3, Volunteer Vulnerable Sector Check is still subject to fees.

“Due to the sensitive nature of vulnerable sector record checks, these files tend to be more work-intensive to ensure the accuracy and safety of those groups,” the report says.

The Level 3 Volunteer Vulnerable Sector Check application will generate $504,000 in revenue.

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