Council tables resolution requiring criminal record check for election candidates
A resolution demanding criminal records checks of people running for public office do not make it out of council chambers at Monday’s regular council meeting.
The resolution, which mayor Lawrence Chernoff brought forward to send to the Association of Kootenay Boundary Local Governments, or AKBLG (to go, if successful, to the union of BC Municipalities and thence to the provincial government,) was sent back to committee for alternative wording.
The resolution would not prevent a candidate with a criminal record from running for office, but would require the public disclosure of any criminal record.
Councillor Russ Hearne said he didn’t think the issue is quite so black-and-white.
“Before we go down this road, no, I don’t have a big, long criminal record,” he said, adding he hasn’t got a record at all, “But I would hate to see someone not run (for office) because they don’t want to be shamed or embarrassed by a record they got 20 years ago.”
Instead, Hearne recommended re-wording the resolution to call for an independent body to assess the results of records checks to determine whether they were relevant to the election and thus should eb made public.
“I’d hate to see someone recently convicted of fraud or theft making decisions about a multi-million-dollar budget,” he said. “I think a third-party review is fair.”
Whether a newly-worded resolution will be forthcoming in 2012 remains up in the air, as the deadline for AKBLG resolution submissions is Feb. 20.