Québec sets rules for use of surveillance cameras in long-term care homes

Blair Crawford, The Ottawa Citizen

Québec unveiled new rules Tuesday governing the use of surveillance cameras in the province’s long-term care facilities and an advocate for Ontario’s elderly says the Ontario government should consider doing the same. The new Québec rules, which come into effect on March 7, give the green light for long-term care residents to install cameras or use smart phones for video surveillance, with or without permission from the institution itself. But the cameras can only be used to monitor the resident’s well-being and must not be used to spy on roommates or others. The Québec regulations make the rules clear for everyone on a subject that Canadian law is otherwise largely silent on, said Jane Meadus, a lawyer with Toronto-based Advocacy Centre for the Elderlym (ACE). “It would be very helpful. We certainly see that things are all over the map,” Meadus said. “We’ve had people (in Ontario) who were told by homes, ‘You can’t use (cameras)’, and I think the Québec government has decided to clarify that. They said, ‘Yes, you have the right and these are the situations.’ They gave it some parameters and that’s a good thing.”

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