Our Origins date back to1859 when former Crimean War veterans were hired to deliver “commissions” (financial and legal documents) around London, England. After the First World War the Canadian Corps of Commissionaires was established in 1925 to provide employment opportunities for Canadian Veterans.
The Northern Alberta Division was established in 1939. It has grown from its original three commissionaires to over 1,800 full time, part-time and casual members throughout the North. In the beginning we protected military vital points during the Second World War. Since then we have gained a reputation for quality service to Government, Law Enforcement and Commercial clients alike. Our focus on our people has ensured they are well trained and well supported. This in turn provides exceptional service to our clients.
The Commissionaires was formed to provide gainful employment for veterans of the Canadian Forces and has played a vital role in our national heritage.
- Captain Edward Walter, a retired officer of the 8th Hussars, founded a Corps of Commissionaires in England in February 1859. His aim was to provide dignified and worthwhile employment for veterans who, after their release from service were ignored by society.
- The first suggestion of a Corps of Commissionaires for Canada was made by His Royal Highness, the Duke of Connaught, while he was Governor General of Canada in 1915. However, very little developed until 25 July 1925, when a Charter was obtained and three companies were organized in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver.
- The Northern Alberta Division, originally known as the Edmonton Division was formed on 5 September 1939.
- In 1972 the Edmonton Division expanded its coverage and was re-designated the Northern Alberta Division.
- The first women entered the division in 1973.
- Northern Alberta Division reaches over 300 members in 1995.
- On November 1, 1996 the commencement of 24/7 operations occurred.
- ISO certified in 1999.
- Monitoring Centre established in 2001.
- Identification Services began in 2007.
- Entry into the Northern Alberta Oil and Gas Sector in 2010.
- Celebrated 75 years of continuous service in 2014.
- Use of aerial drones for security began in 2015.
Article written in the Edmonton Bulletin in their issue dated August 26, 1939:
In smart blue uniforms with the badges of their Corps on cap and cross-belt, the first unit of the Canadian Corps of Commissionaires in Edmonton is now on duty, and shortly, a night patrol and property protection service will be at the disposal of Edmonton Citizens. The night patrol service, carried out under supervision by hand picked ex-servicemen with the best of records, will include an hourly visit from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. In the case of business premises, the front and back doors are examined and a watch is kept on outside windows and transoms. The service in the residential sections includes patrolling front and back of homes, and where the subscribers leave the house vacant for even a short period, all doors, windows, etc., are carefully watched and checked. In addition, where a subscriber requests that a member of the family be escorted from the bus or streetcar lines at night, this service is also performed.