A security company in Toronto is calling on the Ontario Government to provide some sort of assurance that security guards providing an “essential service” are not overlooked within the rollout of “essential workers” vaccination program.
Regal Security in Toronto as well as its union CAPU (Canadian Allied Professionals Union) is seeking clarification as to when licensed security guards within the province will be permitted to attend a Vaccination Clinic for their shots.
They are hoping that it is sooner rather than later.
Regal Security Inc. was the first security company in Ontario to speak out about the issue of essential worker status being thrust upon the industry in the earliest stages of the response plan.
Nick Vetere, CEO of Regal Security Inc., states: “The government obfuscating their responsibilities to the first, first responding group, is really a demonstration of the lack of understanding as to the core functions of the security guarding industry as a whole. We pride ourselves on the way our employees react to emergency situations and not to be considered in the initial roll-out of vaccinations is absurd.”
Regal Security was the first security company to contact the Ministry in March of 2020 requesting some type of exemption to the licensing requirements in place by the Ministry because Serco, the third-party entity that licenses security guards, was closed. They essentially declared a gas station essential and then closed the refinery needed to make the gas. If that isn’t ridiculous enough, they then received correspondence from the Ministry indicating that one of the deciding factors in their decision to not do anything was the requirement for security guards to be certified in First Aid and CPR, which at least indicates that the Ministry is cognizant of the roll security guards perform day-in and day-out in this province.
Vetere adds, “Our staff go to work, day-in and day-out not understanding what they might be facing. Some guards routinely face assaultive persons, some of our staff routinely deal with medical emergencies including heart attack and gunshot wounds, some of our staff routinely deal with people in crisis and that is by virtue of where these Everyday Superheroes™ choose to work. It is imperative that we as an industry, a community, and as a society look at them as people motivated to help others and afford them the same consideration as the First Responders… because they really are the First, First Responders.”
Frank Bartone, President of CAPU (Canadian Allied Professionals Union) has been a vocal advocate for the security guards.
“The government needs to understand, that security guards are an incredibly important element in the response chain to emergency situations throughout Ontario and indeed Canada. To overlook security guards in the vaccination rollout plan throughout Ontario after declaring these guards as essential is a bit short sighted in our opinion,” says Bartone.
“Security Guards work in the environment and they react and respond in times of crisis; to overlook them is really an afront to what my brothers and sisters do, day-in and day-out for the citizens of Ontario and Canada”.