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Town of Paradise Comments on Agreed Order issued by the Supreme Court Decision on Privacy Commissioner Report P-2018-003

Posted on Tuesday January 22, 2019
On January 15, 2019, an agreed order was issued by the Supreme Court on the Office of the Privacy Commissioner Report P-2018-003 with respect to the video surveillance system for the Town of Paradise. The order states that the Town does not have to comply with the recommendations of the original report, that all cameras in public areas can continue to operate, and that seven cameras are to operate only after regular working hours.  
 
The Town of Paradise is pleased with the agreed order.  The Town felt strongly that its video surveillance system was properly implemented and managed, guided by a progressive and comprehensive Video Surveillance Policy. That is why the decision was made to apply to the Supreme Court Newfoundland and Labrador Trial Division for a declaration that the Town was not required to comply with the recommendation in the report. Throughout the entire process, Town staff worked cooperatively with the Privacy Commissioner on the matter. While the preference would have been to resolve this matter outside of the court process, ultimately all parties were able to work together to have the court issue an order which was agreed to by all.  
 
The safety and security of all employees and visitors and the protection of Town assets are of utmost importance to the Town of Paradise. The Town believes a video surveillance system is an integral part of securing assets and protecting Town employees from those who may damage Town property, threaten employees, or undertake other inappropriate / illegal actions or behaviours. Prior to the installation of the system, the Town experienced an increase in incidents around its facilities, including property damage and theft, false activation of fire alarms, vandalism, and a bomb threat. The Town wanted to ensure it was doing all it could to keep employees and facility users safe and assets secure.
 
The video surveillance system implementation included developing a policy which was approved at a public council meeting, notifying all employees about the system, and posting signage in public areas indicating the area was under video surveillance. The cameras are installed in open / public areas and staff access only areas of Town facilities; there are no cameras installed or operational in any washrooms, change areas or lunchrooms. 
 
The Town remains committed to taking all steps necessary to ensure the safety of all employees and visitors and the protection of Town assets. 
 
Media Contact:
Diane Keough, Communications Manager
email  p:709.782.2603 m:709.769.4212

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