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New bill would regulate bouncers, private security guards

The province plans to regulate bouncers and security guards for the first time.

The province plans to regulate bouncers and security guards for the first time.

A government bill announced yesterday would require bouncers to be licensed and properly trained.

Currently, there’s no standardized training or assessment for security guards and private investigators. There is also no complaint process for citizens to report abuse other than pressing charges or complaining to a specific bar or company.

That will all change once a bill is passed to amend 30-year old legislation.

Bouncers, security guards and private investigators will have to be licensed and subject to a province-wide training that includes some form of testing, Justice Minister Ross Landry said yesterday.

He also said there will also be a complaints mechanism to report excessive force or misuse of force.

“Normally it’s the biggest and strongest guy who got the job,” Landry said of bouncers. “And we know in policing that it’s not about brute strength, it’s about communication. It’s about understanding your role and responsibilities.”

Details of the changes would be worked out with industry members once the bill passes. However, when that happens is anyone’s guess because the fall session of the legislature looks to be wrapping up by the end of the week.

Landry said he hopes to get the bill passed as soon as possible.

“If it’s not done in this cycle, it’ll be done in the next one. But my goal is to have it done this week,” he said.

While some bars run their own security, many have outsourced it to security agencies that have their own training protocols.

A spokesman for the downtown bar Pacifico, who identified himself as the manager but not giving his name to Metro, said they’d been expecting regulation changes and have been using an outside security agency for six weeks.

The Security and Investigators Alliance sent out a news release expressing concern with the bill. They say they want to be more closely consulted in crafting the new rules.
- with files from Michael Kimber

 
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