A law has finally been approved that will prohibit the disclosure of police records of non-convicted Ontario residents. In the past, people who were accused of crimes, committed to hospitals due to mental health issues, or were believed to be associated with certain crimes had records compiled on them. Even once charges were acquitted, these records could be disclosed.
Innocent Ontario residents found their ability to work, travel, or volunteer hindered due to these records. In many cases, people didn’t even know they existed. These records aren’t even formal “criminal records”, yet they’re still there and can have the same impact.
This legislation does not necessarily destroy these records and police can still retain them for their own purposes, but they are not allowed to disclose them. While the law has passed, the question remains as to whether police will follow the new rules.