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Cross-border shopping trends in reverse as losing loonie skirts 75 cent value
The casual cross-border shopper has been knocked out of the game. Cross-border car trips are down a little more than 14 per cent from a year ago, one of the steeper declines in the past decade. "The only deeper drop we saw was during the financial crisis and the meltdown of the Canadian dollar at that time," Mr. Porter said. While American border towns are feeling the squeeze, Canadian malls and outlets are cashing in. Toronto Premium Outlets in Halton Hills, Ont., has enjoyed a double-digit sales increases year over year, and Outlet Collection at Niagara, a shopping centre in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont., that opened last year, is already enjoying the windfall.

New RCMP Process for Employee Background Checks
A new fingerprint-based RCMP process is being implemented for employees who are required to undergo background checks. The new system will remove the option of undertaking a name-based check, which is currently the practice. The change could result in both higher costs and additional administrative burden for both employees and employers.

As a result of RCC's advocacy efforts and other stakeholder feedback, the RCMP has pushed back the implementation date by at least two years. This will allow the RCMP to refine the process and the industry to develop technology that could reduce financial and administrative burdens associated with this new program. The government will be introducing this change in a phased-in approach as indicated below:

Phase I - All Government of Canada employees - July 2015
Phase II - Vulnerable Employment Sectors (employees working with youth, sporting activities seniors etc.) - No defined date
Phase III - General Users (includes retailers) - No defined date

Currently if a company is seeking a background check on potential employees to ensure that new hires do no have a relevant criminal record it is undertaken through a name-based system housed by the RCMP called Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC).

Following a directive from the Minister of Public Safety to establish a more accurate verification against the CPIC system, the RCMP will be transitioning from the name-based system to a fingerprinting-based system. The government's goal is to improve accuracy of the current system and ensure that individuals are properly identified. This means that companies and other entities will no longer have access to the CPIC system and will be forced to use fingerprint scans for all new employees that they are seeking to undertake a police background check.

RCC is also concerned that new employees may be leery of a process that requires a fingerprint scan, given the privacy implications. Although the RCMP has assured RCC that this new system has been approved by the Privacy Commissioner and fingerprints submitted to RCMP will not be maintained on file. It is expected that there will be resistance from potential employees and civil rights groups.

Next Steps:
In order to fully assess the impact and implications of this change, the government will be undertaking wide ranging consultations. It is expected that Phase III users (retail community) will be consulted in June 2015. RCC will be engaged in these consultations to ensure that our concerns are addressed prior to implementation. RCC has been advised that this new process will not be in place before 2017.
As part of these consultations there will also be an opportunity to organize discussions with RCMP to ensure members are aware of implications of these changes.

If you have any questions about this issue, please contact Dave Wilkes, SVP Federal Government Relations at 416-467-3767 or

Retail Fast Facts: February 2015 
● Total monthly retail sales changed by 4.6 per cent over the comparable month last year. 
● Total sales excluding food, automotive and gasoline changed by 5.4 per cent over the comparable month last year.

Active Shooter Training with Toronto Police and OCAD University  Over the weekend, the Guardly team took part in a very successful active shooter simulation and training exercise run jointly between the Toronto Police Services and the Campus Security team at OCAD University. The goal of the exercise was to recreate a highly dynamic, fast-moving situation that could draw upon key emotions such as fear, terror and surprise to train both police officers and campus security managers and guards on how to manage these situations as best as possible, whilst utilizing all the technological resources they have at hand to ensure best possible outcomes including: Neutralizing the gunman or gunmen, Decreasing overall time of active threat, Minimizing total casualties, Recommending to people indoors to exit the building using safe pathways to lower-risk areas and Locating injured victims and getting them medical assistance.

Canadian Border Patrol stops fugitive connected to shooting of Portland, OR Police officer  Canadian Border Patrol agents have apprehended a man who Portland police say was involved in the shooting of a police officer and police dog last year. Early Wednesday morning, 26-year-old Jemaell Diamond Riley cut off the ankle monitoring bracelet he was required to wear while awaiting related charges. Police, in cooperation with Crime Stoppers, asked for the public's help finding Riley Wednesday. Riley was one of three men arrested after the April 16, 2014, shooting of Officer Jeff Dorn and his dog Mick after a robbery at Blumenthal Uniforms & Equipment store on Southwest Barbur Boulevard. Police said Riley was not the shooter but was armed at the time of the arrest.

Regina man arrested in Dominican Republic on fraud, theft charges
A Regina man arrested Monday in the Dominican Republic is back in Saskatchewan to face theft and fraud charges. Richard Dale Johnston, 55, was arrested by Interpol - an international police organization - following a lengthy RCMP investigation into possible fraud and theft. "This is an example of how just one piece of information can bring charges in a file that goes back many years," said RCMP Insp. Trudy Bangloy. Johnston was charged last April with fraud over $5,000, theft over $5,000 and laundering the proceeds of crime. The alleged incidents occurred in Saskatchewan between October 2006 and September 2007, and RCMP began investigating the case in January 2013. Interpol issued a red notice - a notice to seek the location and arrest of a wanted person with a view to extradition - last month, and on Monday, Johnston was arrested in the Dominican Republic. He was deported to Toronto before he was extradited to Regina on Thursday.

Police warn of influx of counterfeit U.S. bills to Waterloo Region
Police have seen a huge increase in the number of counterfeit U.S. bills in Waterloo Region over the past 10 months, and they say that it's causing significant losses for local businesses. According to a police release, typically suspects will buy low-value items, like food or merchandise, with a large value U.S counterfeit bill. They say there have been 70 instances of counterfeit fraud since June, mostly involving U.S. currency. Police warn businesses to be careful and use diligence when accepting U.S. currency.

Norfolk County OPP makes an arrest in recent robberies at Robinson Mart and Videos in Simcoe

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