WINNIPEG – The Manitoba government is reviewing security at health-care facilities and considering new powers for security officers at hospitals.
Health Minister Cameron Friesen says the move is partly in response to a rise in methamphetamine-related violence. He adds that a review is long overdue because there are no provincewide guidelines.
The government is looking for a company to do the review and won’t say how much the exercise is expected to cost.
The province is also proposing legislation that would give greater powers to security workers at hospitals and other public facilities.
Justice Minister Cliff Cullen says consultations will help decide how much authority security staff will be given, but he expects it will include power to detain people without being armed.
Cullen said the hospital security workers would have the powers of peace officers and would require training above and beyond standard instruction.
“We want to ensure that public safety is paramount, and that’s why we want to make sure that we have individuals with the authority necessary and the training to deal with those respective situations,” he said.
“This legislation will … allow our government to prescribe equipment, uniforms and rigorous training for officers.”
The proposed changes are part of several bills introduced in the legislature Monday. They include proposals for higher fines under the Workplace Safety and Health Act and a new 30-gram limit for cannabis possession in public places.
The new limit mirrors federal laws as well as the purchasing limit at stores.