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Commissionaires

Remius

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Towards_the_gap said:
Ok, as previously stated, I accept that giving Pte Bloggins of 132 Mess Tin Repair Coy a C7 with 20rds, showing him a picture of a VBIED and sticking him on the front gate for 2 hours on, 1 hour off, of checking ID's and vehicle passes, will not happen.

What then, should we keep the status quo and carry on normal marching? And hope that the 60yr old commissionaire sat in the box at the front gate is switched on enough should something happen?

Maybe it boils down to each and every CF member to be vigilant.  On the bus, where they get coffee, at the gate when they get on base etc etc.  We have 90 0000 eyes and ears in the CF.  When you see something odd and out of place, report it or tell someone.  Maybe bases don't need armed security but parts of it might.  Ammo compounds, vaults etc.  But really at the end of the day a determined attacker will find a way through.  I think it's also about how we react to such incidents.  How many lives can be saved if people know exactly what to do in whatever situation.  Take a plane.  Have a look at the passengers next time they give the inflight safety brief.  We had an earthquake a few years ago. Most people didn't have a clue what to do.

What I'm getting at is that with good intelligence and education you can save more lives than having an armed guard at a door. because someone will figure out how to overcome that.  How many more lives could have been saved if people knew exactly what to do when the twin towers came down or when hans brevick slaughtered those kids.  We have school shootings in north america at a far more frequent rate than I like.  Is the solution having armed guards at every school?  Or do we teach our kids what to do when and if it might happen?  Same with a base.  Do we train up a gate guard super squad or do we train everyone how to react when something happens and let the professionals handle the situation. 
 

SeaKingTacco

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crantor, well said.

Far more can be accomplished by every member of the CF and DND being security conscious and vigilant, then would be accomplished by putting a token armed gate guard at every base.
 

BDTyre

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SeaKingTacco said:
crantor, well said.

Far more can be accomplished by every member of the CF and DND being security conscious and vigilant, then would be accomplished by putting a token armed gate guard at every base.

I have a friend who is living proof that sometimes an armed guard can do more harm than good...
 

Jarnhamar

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CanadianTire said:
I have a friend who is living proof that sometimes an armed guard can do more harm than good...

Not exactly a good comparison.
 

George Wallace

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Changes may be in the wind, with the Government re-examining its "Right-of-First Refusal" policy given to the Corps of Commissionaires.  It may deal yet another blow to the opportunities offered to former members of the CAF and RCMP to employment after Release.

Reproduced under the Fair Dealings provisions of the Copyright Act.

LINK

The Globe and Mail

Ottawa rethinking policy of giving veterans security-guard jobs

BILL CURRY
OTTAWA — The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Mar. 21 2014, 6:00 AM EDT
Last updated Friday, Mar. 21 2014, 6:15 AM EDT

The Conservative government is evaluating the relevancy of a decades-long policy meant to help veterans find work as security guards at government buildings.

Since the end of the Second World War, Ottawa has directed billions of dollars in federal guard contracts to the Commissionaires, a private, non-profit organization that was created to help employ the thousands of veterans returning from war.

Ottawa gives the Commissionaires the right of first refusal on all government guard contracts, an arrangement worth about $1.35-billion over five years when it was last renewed. But that deal is nearing its end. Federal briefing notes provided to Treasury Board President Tony Clement reveal the department’s Internal Audit and Evaluation Bureau is reviewing the program to “examine the relevance and performance” of the arrangement.

“This is a potentially sensitive subject as the [Right-of-First Refusal]’s purpose is to support veterans employment,” states the memo, obtained by The Globe and Mail in an Access to Information Request. The undated memo is from briefing notes provided to the minister in the summer of 2013.

The Commissionaires insist they provide a high-quality service at a good price for taxpayers. They view the review as a routine matter and expect the arrangement to be renewed when it expires in 2015-16. But private sector guard companies are pushing for a change, and Mr. Clement’s office is non-committal about renewing the deal.

The potential sensitivity is clear. The Conservative government has been under fire in the House of Commons for closing offices that serve veterans. Meanwhile, Mr. Clement is looking for ways to save money through greater privatization. The leading private sector competitor to the Commissionaires estimates Ottawa could save at least $100-million a year by opening the guard contracts to competition. Stephan Cretier, president of Montreal-based Garda World Security Corporation, said Ottawa could improve quality, reduce costs and still require private contractors to employ a set percentage of veterans.

Mr. Cretier said Ottawa’s arrangement with the Commissionaires has been amended so many times the non-profit is now allowed to employ thousands of workers with no connection to Canadian military. The Commissionaires work force on federal contracts must be 60 per cent veterans – which can include former RCMP members – but it also provides guards to the private sector, which has no such requirement. Mr. Cretier estimates that, as a result, the number of veterans among Commissionaires employees is well below half.

“It’s ridiculous,” he said in an interview. “Canada is the only country in the world where a non-profit organization is the largest security provider, so it’s just a question mark in terms of having a government that is free-market driven and you see a non-profit organization being the largest security provider.”

John Dewar, CEO of the Commissionaires for Victoria, the Islands and Yukon, answered questions from The Globe on behalf of the national organization. He said taxpayers are getting a deal because of the not-for-profit nature of the organization.

“This is one way of supporting veterans that doesn’t cost the government anything because we do all of the work under this right of first refusal at cost for the government,” he said in an interview, playing down Ottawa’s review as a “routine assessment.”

Before the federal government makes its decision, the Senate sub-committee on Veterans Affairs will weigh in. The sub-committee is wrapping up a study on services for veterans, including a review of Ottawa’s relationship with the Commissionaires.

Conservative Senator David Wells, the sub-committee vice-chair, said he expects the committee’s report will comment on the matter but that no decisions have been made on recommendations.

“Obviously, I’m a supporter of free enterprise, and any benefits that the government gives to individual companies should be looked at very carefully. That said, there’s also that balance of doing as much as we can for veterans, and that’s important,” he said. “So I guess, as the government moves forward, that will be part of the deliberation and we’ll hear from all sides on it and then, of course, we’ll consider it internally ourselves.”

Given the track record of some of these Private Security Firms; allowing an individual with an explosive device to board an aircraft in Alberta and other breaches at airports and other locations, seems to be a non-brainer to me.  Add the fact that continuity of security enforcement would be lost when tenders are offered to provide security services and one firm underbids a current provider; not to mention the "Lowest Bidder Syndrome" and the expected services thus provided. 

I am not saying that Commissionaires provide the ideal security, but at least they have a bit more training and experience than "a teenager hired as a Mall Cop" and for the most part have a vested interest in National Security having prior Service. 

Penny pinching will give you the security you deserve, and it will be lacking.  :(
 

Edward Campbell

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We need to be a bit careful with this. "Veterans' preferences" "job preferment for vets" - or whatever one wants to call it - is workable as long as the "vets" in question are Canadians. Other interested parties ~ private security companies, civil service unions, etc ~ will, with some justification, scream load and long if the Commissionaires, for example, are seen to be hiring the "general public," as they do, instead of, mainly, Canadian veterans.
 

dapaterson

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The number of former military / former RCMP within the Commissionaires has been steadily decreasing over time.  Is there still a valid public policy reason to provide them with preferential hiring?  Or could the same effet be delivered by inserting similar requirements into open tenders for government security services?

Monopolies breed complacency, and have little to no incentive to innovate and find more affordable solutions.  If the commissionaires are so good, then they should be able to compete on an even footing.

Or do we only apply that logic to the CBC, and want to protect our own pet causes from the evils of competition?
 

George Wallace

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E.R. Campbell said:
We need to be a bit careful with this. "Veterans' preferences" "job preferment for vets" - or whatever one wants to call it - is workable as long as the "vets" in question are Canadians. Other interested parties ~ private security companies, civil service unions, etc ~ will, with some justification, scream load and long if the Commissionaires, for example, are seen to be hiring the "general public," as they do, instead of, mainly, Canadian veterans.

Perhaps their problem may be that they are following the example set by the Legion and have not been looking at Veterans in their hiring.  Was this a trend in the last decade or two?
 

Stoker

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Over the years I have seen instances where not the best people have been hired and they our first line of defence at our military bases. Problem is with the Commissionaires on the first right of refusal is that they will take any contract and staff it with pers with barely a heartbeat rather than let it go to someone else. I think its healthy to open it up to other security companies, perhaps it will allow the Commissionaires to clean up their act and get rid of the deadwood.
 

Monsoon

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Chief Stoker said:
Over the years I have seen instances where not the best people have been hired and they our first line of defence at our military bases. Problem is with the Commissionaires on the first right of refusal is that they will take any contract and staff it with pers with barely a heartbeat rather than let it go to someone else. I think its healthy to open it up to other security companies, perhaps it will allow the Commissionaires to clean up their act and get rid of the deadwood.
Strong agree. And aside from the low standard of the service provided and the fact that in the cases of most new hires Commissionaires are not retired CAF members: quite frankly unskilled, just-above-minimum-wage security guard jobs are not the careers the government should be steering retired members towards. That may have cut it in the 40s and 50s, but the world (and the quality of veteran we produce) has changed.
 

The_Falcon

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Part of the reason Commissionaire's have resorted to hiring non-vets is, many former members just plain aren't interested in it, especially if they are punching out in their 30-40's.  Their recruiting still predominantly targets former members though.  There are just few people in the forces than back in the 40s-50s.  And while the forces career transition programs can use work, they do help members get jobs that pay well above what the Commissionaires pay.

That said if people think there are issues now....getting a company like Garda, which pays minimum wage and has even lower hiring standards  (look at the bang up job they do of security screening at Canada's airports). 
 

Loachman

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Hatchet Man said:
getting a company like Garda, which pays minimum wage and has even lower hiring standards

What do you mean? Look at the celebrity employees that they manage to attract...
 

garb811

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My personal opinion is that the Corps deserves to be treated as any other Security Company given their decision(s) over the last decade or so which have resulted in them beginning to act as just another Security company.  I find it interesting that they are considered "non-profit" as they certainly do not behave like one.  They are now a multifaceted business which I have seen engage in activities as far ranging as providing traditional security guards, providing finger-printing and other identification services in store front business locations, acting as agents for people looking to obtain pardons, providing first aid and safety training, acting in all manner of positions in police services, parking enforcement, commissioners of oaths and the list goes on.

One great thing that would hopefully happen is people would actually need to start paying attention to the details of their bids on contracts and realizing we are getting taken to the cleaners twice.  First by the fact that the rate they charge DND per position is well above what is being paid to the guy filling the post is making (is it a competitive mark-up, better than market value because apparently the Corps doesn't turn a profit...?  Who knows...there's no competing bids to compare it to).  Secondly, far too often I have seen Cmre personnel being treated as an extension of the CAF and given buckshee time off, sent on training paid for by DND when the Corps is supposed to provide personnel already qualified to do the job they are contracted to do and Bases providing them resources to do their job that we would not provide any other Contractor and which the National Standing Offer explicitly states will be provided by the Corps.  The other great habit they have is when someone does something to get removed from post, they simply shuffle them around within the organization rather than outright firing them for incompetence because they don't have enough personnel to fill all of positions they have committed to fill many times.

Competition is never a bad thing.  Sometimes the Corps wins contracts they bid on outside the Federal Government, sometimes they don't.  If they are the best bang for the buck, like they contend, they should have no problem maintaining the contract.
 

xo31@711ret

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I presently work part time for security for a major mining corporation at a port where another large government corporation operates that require large vessels to ship in their product. We provide security when 'the ships are in'. We provide security for our ships, the government agency has a contract with a private security contractor when they have a vessel in. We're paid a half decent wage, theirs is maybe 25 to a buck over minimum wage, depending on the individual's postiion (guard vs supervisor). I've been there going on 4 years at the mining company. The government agency is into their third or fourth contracted security company. The one presently having the government contract being an international company. Sometimes we are asked to fill in one of their 2 positions because they sometimes cannot fill theboth  security positions when one of the government ships are in. Nice folks to work with (most), but some of them, their training (or lack off), dress and deportment, sticking to the letter of their contract ('that's not my job' for example if I ask to to keep an eye out if while I need to go for a 30 second piss for crissakes). As for the Commissionaires; well here where I now presently live, postings I've had, ( London Ont, Halifax,  Gagetown, etc), most (though not all) were military, professional,  had common dog sense....which, personally,  I would deal with any  time over most 'professional national & international security companies'....can't remember offhand, but wasn't Garda given the contract for the London Olympics? Didn't the British military have to provide some security because the contracted security company wasn't able to provide full security coverage?
 

Stoker

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xo31@711ret said:
I presently work part time for security for a major mining corporation at a port where another large government corporation operates that require large vessels to ship in their product. We provide security when 'the ships are in'. We provide security for our ships, the government agency has a contract with a private security contractor when they have a vessel in. We're paid a half decent wage, theirs is maybe 25 to a buck over minimum wage, depending on the individual's postiion (guard vs supervisor). I've been there going on 4 years at the mining company. The government agency is into their third or fourth contracted security company. The one presently having the government contract being an international company. Sometimes we are asked to fill in one of their 2 positions because they sometimes cannot fill theboth  security positions when one of the government ships are in. Nice folks to work with (most), but some of them, their training (or lack off), dress and deportment, sticking to the letter of their contract ('that's not my job' for example if I ask to to keep an eye out if while I need to go for a 30 second piss for crissakes). As for the Commissionaires; well here where I now presently live, postings I've had, ( London Ont, Halifax,  Gagetown, etc), most (though not all) were military, professional,  had common dog sense....which, personally,  I would deal with any  time over most 'professional national & international security companies'....can't remember offhand, but wasn't Garda given the contract for the London Olympics? Didn't the British military have to provide some security because the contracted security company wasn't able to provide full security coverage?

There are a lot of good commissionaires and I have friends that work with them.  On the other hand there are a lot of dead wood that should be let go but they keep them employed so they don't lose the contract. Anyone from CFB Halifax can attest to the type of Commissionaires working at the parking pass office and ID section, they should been gotten rid of a long time ago, some of them still think they're still in the military.
 

George Wallace

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Chief Stoker said:
There are a lot of good commissionaires and I have friends that work with them.  On the other hand there are a lot of dead wood that should be let go but they keep them employed so they don't lose the contract. Anyone from CFB Halifax can attest to the type of Commissionaires working at the parking pass office and ID section, they should been gotten rid of a long time ago, some of them still think they're still in the military.

Don't even get us in the NCR started, who have had to deal with Pass Control.
 

Stoker

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George Wallace said:
Don't even get us in the NCR started, who have had to deal with Pass Control.

Ha, just like the day I went in get a permanent ID renewal and was told by the Commissionaire since I was a reserve I wasn't entitled to one. Had that straightened out pretty fast, was making up is own policy.
 

Churchill55

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Yes, i say get rid of all the useless SOB's. Make them take a double-dip job like most of the rest of the Reg force personnel. (take release on Fri & walk back into the same job as a Civvy on Mon, with a pension) That would be a much better use of tax payers $$$ !!!
 

brihard

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I came within a hairsbreadth of becoming a commissionaire, to the point of completing their eight or nine day training course. Fortunately my unit was able to land me gainful employment while I waited for my Ontario security Guard license to show up in the mail. So much the better; my photo on my license makes me look fat. Anyway, when talking with one of the hiring guys, he said that they're sitting about 30% CF/RCMP vets these days. My interview was basically a formality- when I walked in and handed them a resume that said 'CF' I was for all intents and purposes hired. Luck, as it would have it, saw me land a Cl B as ops/training NCO at my unit instead.
 
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