By Susanna Speier
Denver Private Investigator Blogger
While exchanging emails with British Columbia Private Investigator, James Craig about what role private investigator ethics and legal regulations may have played in his decision to turn down an assignment offered him by an eager New York based publication --they wanted him to do drone surveillance on the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, I also reached out to the Private Investigator Association of British Columbia (PIABC) to get the regulatory rundown. PIABC President/ Membership, Greg Tweed emailed a response that I am publishing in its entirety:
See also: Canadian private investigator refuses to investigate Meghan and Harry's retreat
Harry and Meghan
"With the speculated belief that Prince Harry and Duchess Megan Windsor may move to British Columbia at some point, the question about their privacy in terms of someone hiring a private investigator to follow or gather information about them arises.
In British Columbia, Private Investigators are licensed under the Security Services Act which outlines that private investigation work may be done in furtherance of an “Investigation”. The British Columbia Privacy legislation (Protection of Information Protection Act) sets out circumstances when a person’s privacy may be violated. In simple terms, if there is a breach of an agreement, contravention of an enactment of Canada or a province, a remedy or relief available under an enactment, prevention of fraud or securities trading matters, an “investigation” may be done without a person’s consent. Person’s gathering information in such circumstances are required to be licensed and further bound by requirements to protect the information they acquire and to whom they may disclose it.
So it is unlikely that a private investigation company in BC would undertake an investigation on someone’s behalf without all of the intended privacy safeguards being clearly understood and followed. They would risk not only their license to investigate, but whatever else follows from civil action or other enactments (such as trespassing). In addition, the Criminal Code of Canada sets out numerous offences in relation to harassment, watching and besetting, trespass by night, intimidation, mischief (obstructing, interrupting or interfering with the use of property or any person in the lawful use, enjoyment or operation of property) and video voyeurism, to name a few.
While the above outlines legal matters in Canada, it may be more important to understand the culture of how Canadians view celebrities and interactions with them. Canadians may be interested at a distance in celebrities, but generally it is not an obsession. Canadians are usually respectful. Many celebrities feel comfortable in Canada and are either ignored or viewed from a distance. Someone may try for an autograph, selfie or photo from a distance, but the context of the encounter seems to determine how people will behave. Vancouver is a hub of film making. Actors and actresses are commonly seen on the streets and in restaurants. By and large they are simply a curiosity."
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