The Direct Bearing Blog

Criminal Record Checks – Are you being negligent?
Thursday, 15 March 2012 16:21
by Matt Cruchet

I've been wanting to get this up since the Scouts Canada thing blew. I've been getting lots of inquiries related to how organizations should be managing their child protection programs. Here's a quick snapshot of some of the key issues.

A police criminal records check (PCRC) or police check or police records check is a standard request for most organizations working with youth. If your organization has adopted this practice there’s a few things you need to know - starting with what a standard PCRC does not generally cover:

  • Outstanding entries, such as charges and warrants
  • Absolute and conditional discharges
  • Current judicial orders, including Peace Bonds, Probation and Prohibition orders under the Criminal Code of Canada
  • Convictions where a pardon has been granted
  • Convictions under provincial statutes
  • Local police contact
  • Provincial Ministry of Transportation information
  • Special Interest Police (SIP) category of CPIC
  • Family Court Restraining Orders
  • Foreign information
  • A Vulnerable Sector (VS) Query of pardoned sex offenders to ascertain if the applicant has been convicted of and granted a pardon for any of the sexual offences that are listed in the schedule to the Criminal Records Act (CRA)
  • Any reference to incidents involving mental health contact that did not result in a conviction
  • Charged and processed by other means such as Diversion
Note: There’s a large variation in what you get based on the local police detachment

A typical PCRC does cover criminal convictions (summary and indictable) from the CPIC and/or local databases. The CPIC is the Canadian Police Information Centre run by the RCMP. So if someone has a criminal conviction it should show up on a PCRC. Now compare this with the above list. Two glaring points stand out: pardons and the vulnerable sector query.
Administration of an Effective Waiver Program
Thursday, 24 March 2011 00:00
The following excerpt from the book Managing Risk is subject to copyright laws. Reproduction of this material in anyway is forbidden without explicit written permission from the publisher.

Notice of Requirement to Sign Release
  • mention in marketing materials (advertisements, brochures, website) that participation requires a release of liability to be signed
  • this refutes the suggestion that clients are coerced into signing
Design and Layout of the Release
  • design the document in a simple and straightforward way so that the client knows what is happening
Do Waivers Work?
Thursday, 10 March 2011 15:28
The following excerpt from the book Managing Risk is subject to copyright laws. Reproduction of this material in anyway is forbidden without explicit written permission from the publisher.

The courts have held in cases that properly prepared and presented releases of liability are binding.  This is consistent with the principle in contract law that a party is bound by the document in the absence of fraud or misrepresentation.  There have been many cases in which the courts have found waivers valid and sufficient to exonerate defendants from liability even for alleged negligence.
Early adventure cases include Delaney v. Cascade River Holidays Ltd in 1983, Dyck v. Manitoba Snowmobile Assn. Inc. in 1985 and Karroll v. Silver Star Mountain Resorts in 1988.  More recent high-profile instances include Ochoa v. Canadian Mountain Holidays Inc., the 1996 case based on the avalanche deaths of nine clients while heli-skiing and the 2009 Alberta horse riding case of Van Hooydonk v. Jonker.
Kids Should Not Be Extreme Adventurers
Thursday, 25 November 2010 09:40
by Jon Heshka

This year has seen several instances of children doing extreme adventure or extreme sport and raises some interesting questions about the role their parents play in it.

Two months ago, Jordan Romero, 13, of Big Bear, became the youngest person to climb 8848 m Mt. Everest. He became a cause célèbre while also earning the enmity of some who believe the risks of climbing such a peak are too great for a child to take on.

It is a statistical fact that 8 climbers die for every 100 who summit Mt. Everest. Those celebrating Jordan's conquest of the mountain would likely be whistling a different tune if he had died in an avalanche, in a fall, of exposure, or a high altitude-related illness.

Trip Planning: Interactive Cell Tower Map
Tuesday, 31 August 2010 10:48
Want to know if your next Canadian adventure has cell coverage? Check out Steven Nikkel's blog featuring a Google Map interactive overlay or cell towers and providers.

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