Fee break raises questions

The provincial government has initiated free criminal record checks but questions revolve around who is eligible.

The provincial government has initiated free criminal record checks but questions revolve around who is eligible.

Beginning Nov. 30, organizations in B.C.’s volunteer and non-profit sector will be eligible for free criminal record checks for volunteers who work with children and vulnerable adults. But a Ministry of Attorney General release doesn’t indicate whether school districts are considered to be non-profit groups.

“I have e-mailed the Ministry of Education to ask how the process of using this new service will work for schools,” said Joe Rogers, Vernon School District superintendent.

The issue of criminal record checks arose locally in May when the City of Vernon initiated a $25 fee for each application to cover its processing costs.

At the time, the Vernon School District stated it could be on the hook for $25,000 a year if it paid for criminal record checks for volunteers in schools.

Catherine Lord, a Vernon city councillor, points out that not all community volunteers are covered by the new provincial policy.

“This is for volunteers who work with children and vulnerable adults,” she said.

“But volunteers who fall outside of these parameters will still need to get a check done locally and they will also pay the fee.”

Lord says she welcomes the new provincial policy.

“Volunteers are a tremendous benefit to a community, and volunteering should not have an impact on the volunteer’s pocketbook,” she said.

In July, Vernon council agreed to discount the $25 fee for criminal record checks by 75 per cent for people who are financially disadvantaged but want to volunteer.

Other elements of the Ministry of Attorney General policy includes a more efficient sharing of current, verified criminal record checks among groups in the non-profit sector, saving them time and paperwork.

Volunteers and publicly funded employees will be able to consent to sharing verified checks with more than one organization, and businesses will be able to access existing record checks of new employees who consent to the sharing of them.

 

Just Posted

Lumby grads celebrate

Charles Bloom Secondary’s class of 2019

College investigates Vernon physiotherapist

Stephen Witvoet’s matters are currently before the courts

Thousands soak up Downtown Vernon Sunshine Festival

One-day annual event a hit with residents and visitors

Still room for golfers in KidSport tournament

Inaugural KidSport Greater Vernon Golf Tournament goes Thursday at Vernon Golf and Country Club

Arrested suspect connected to string of North Okanagan robberies

Man arrested after failed robbery at Enderby store may be involved in four other such crimes

Murray McLauchlan delights Vernon crowd

Canadian music icon puts on wonderful two-hour show at Performing Arts Centre

Rose Valley Rd. fire in West Kelowna has now been extinguished

West Kelowna Fire Chief says first two grass fires Tuesday were human caused

Life’s work of talented Shuswap sculptor leads to leukemia

Former Salmon Arm resident warns of dangers of chemical contact

Shuswap car dealership seeks return of unique stolen Jeep

The red 1989 four-by-four was taken from Salmon Arm GM’s lot early Monday morning.

Horgan says he’ll still defend B.C. coast after second Trans Mountain approval

Meanwhile, one B.C. First Nation has announced plans for a legal challenge

Demonstrators on either side of Trans Mountain debate clash in Vancouver

Crowd heard from member of Indigenous-led coalition that hopes to buy 51% of expansion project

MPs hear retired South Okanagan nurse’s petition to change compensation for fatal medical errors

Teri McGrath wants provinces to implement no-fault system for medical errors

Grieving B.C. mom hopes Facebook message leads to new investigation into son’s Surrey homicide

Criminal Justice Branch didn’t lay charges, concluding no substantial likelihood of murder or manslaughter conviction

Hergott: Contribution and Expectation of a will

Lawyer Paul Hergott continues his column on wills

Most Read