Jonathan Gosselin wants to be a police officer one day.
But he keeps getting hindered by provincial red tape when it comes to renewing his security guard licence.
The Ottawa resident makes $10.50 an hour and has been out of a job for almost three months because he didn’t have a passport or driver’s licence — both considered valid government-issued photo ID — to show the ministry.
“I don’t know why you have to have a passport just to work in Canada,” said Gosselin. “It’s weird.”
Gosselin, 29, spent about $125 for a passport, and is still waiting for his new licence to arrive in the mail.
Had he known it would take this long, he could’ve saved $90 — the new Ontario photo card was launched on July 25 and costs $35.
In the meantime he’s looking for another job, “trying to get a quick buck here and there,” he said.
While Ontario security guards are going through an obstacle course just to get licensed, the province is proposing an amendment to allow celebrities’ bodyguards to breeze in and out of the country.
If approved, it will come into effect September 2 — just in time for the Toronto International Film Festival.
But the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services maintains it’s “not about TIFF.”
“This is about protecting Ontario’s (billion-dollar-a-year) film industry,” said ministry spokesman Brent Ross.
Between June 23-25, provincial police issued 142 charges during the International Indian Film Academy awards event in Toronto for violating Ontario’s security regulations.
Among them were two British nationals, charged with working as unlicensed security guards while protecting a Bollywood star.
“If a star cannot travel with their personal security, or thinks there may be a problem, they won’t come,” Ross said.
And production companies will go elsewhere.
“The province must do what it can to ensure those productions – and jobs – don’t go to B.C., New York or California,” said Ross, adding the proposed exemption is “narrow.”
But that means Ontario security companies, who could be making millions of dollars during the festival, will be getting shafted.
“The properly licensed people have to jump through all the hoops,” said Ross McLeod, president of the Association of Professional Security Agencies.
In the meantime, Gosselin said he’ll just have to keep waiting.
“There’s not much I can do about it,” he said.