Evident began its existence in 1980 when former RCMP Polygraph Examiner Michael Robinson decided to set up a small private investigations firm in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan called “Robinson Investigations”. Providing polygraph examinations, bailiff services, surveillance and other investigative and security-related services, Robinson Investigations grew and developed a reputation for a very professional approach. Working for Canada Post in the volatile ‘80’s, Robinson developed a cautious approach on how to assist companies faced with labour disputes. Working in Saskatchewan, Robinson was soon working in the agriculture sector, and in 1995 began conducting intellectual property investigations for Monsanto. Again, using a professional and cautious approach, Robinson created a deterrent program that protect millions of dollars in investment annually.
In 1997 a new investigator joined the firm and soon became the top-producing employee in the company. Dennis Birtles had attended the College of Law at the University of Saskatchewan, and was soon faced with an opportunity to buy Robinson Investigations. The deal was concluded in 2002 and in 2005 the company name was changed to Evident: Corporate Investigations. The company began a rapid period of growth, conducting investigations across Canada and with corporate expansion deep into the United States. At one point, employing over 200 investigators, most of whom were retired former Police major crimes investigators, Evident focused its’ work on Intellectual Property Investigations and Labour Dispute Management.
Evident successfully managed the Saskatoon Co-op strike in Saskatoon in late 2018, concluding that project in April of 2019. In early December of 2019, Evident was asked to take over responsibility for a labour disruption that had begun on December 5th at the Co-op Refinery Complex (C.R.C.) in Regina, Saskatchewan. Having had zero time to prepare, and being brought in after the disruption had already begun, Evident was nonetheless able to staff up and begin the evidence-collection process. Four days later, Evident supported Federated Co-op and the C.R.C. in a successful application for injunctive relief against Unifor Local 754 who had been blockading the refinery since December 5th. Two successful contempt-of-court applications and a litany of criminal charges later, the refinery was able to continue as close-to-normal operations as possible until bargaining brought a conclusion to the disruption.
In the midst of all of this, Covid-19 happened and while the team was able to persevere and work through the first few months of the pandemic, the global calamity took its toll on Evident, as it did on many businesses. For all of 2020 and most of 2021, Evidents workload contracted significantly. Now, re-focused on the work that we love, work that we do better than anyone else in the country, Evident is growing again.
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