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Are You Paying For a Background Check? Here’s What You Should Know

If you’ve been living in Ottawa for quite some time now, chances are you’ve probably stumbled upon the need to get background checks. You need to get one in order to do volunteer work at the local police station to further reinforce the safety of the person you’re working for. However, as the days went by, Ottawa’s Police Service (and the Gloucester and Nepean forces as well) noticed the huge influx of requests for background checks, and sadly began to charge for them instead. 

Money talks

The process of getting a background check used to be free, but it now comes with a CAD 50 price tag. The CAD 50 is supposedly a processing fee, with discounts having the fee at only CAD 15 for checks made in vulnerable sectors, while same-day processing fees are priced at CAD 40. Although it may seem like getting mad at the sudden charge is completely justifiable, the truth is that the Ottawa Police Service has every right to charge for background checks due to the fact that they spent so much money on free background checks alone last year. They shelled out CAD 4.7 to conduct 75 thousand background checks and that rise that can be attributed to the popularity of rideshare and shared economy apps. 

As outrageous as it may sound because niceness seems scarce all over the world sometimes, Ottawa has an abundance of noble, kind-hearted people that volunteer for over 300 non-profit organizations and groups. Typically, these volunteers can be found helping out at fundraisers, sporting events, festivals, and the like. With volunteers, events have a greater chance of motivating even more people to be kind. They may also foster a sense of community that can’t be found anywhere else, which will create a fun environment for everybody.

The importance of getting a background check

When doing great things for humanity, however, people still need security to pull through by having volunteers undergo an essential background check. In order to avoid having the wrong people helping out, which may possibly put the lives of many in danger, organizations require interested parties to apply for background checks, which will be then used to gauge their overall character and dependability.

Why the price is actually right

There’s nothing wrong with the Ottawa Police Service’s decision to charge a small fee for a background check. It’s actually justifiable no matter how outraged you are by it at first. However, the main issue that people have with it has to do with the possibility of getting fewer volunteers. Those from lower-income brackets must choose between paying to get a background check and forgetting about their desire to volunteer because they can’t afford the fee.

Although negotiating a lower price or something might seem like the best thing to do, it actually isn’t because of the fact that that move may cause employee background checks to skyrocket in price. By jacking up the prices of employee background checks, it will be a lot harder for people (especially those who earn less) to get the necessary documents to turn their lives around. So is getting rid of the fee a risk you really want to take?

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