Saskatchewan

City of Regina recommends against criminal record checks for candidates

The city of Regina is recommending against mandatory criminal record checks for candidates in the upcoming civic election.

Province changed the law to give municipalities the power to require criminal checks

The city of Regina is recommending against requiring candidates in the upcoming civic election to submit to a criminal record check. (CBC)

The city of Regina is recommending against mandatory criminal record checks for candidates in the upcoming civic election.

The provincial government changed the law several years ago to give municipalities the option to require them.

But, city councillors in the Queen City voted against the idea four years ago.

This year, the administration is recommending against it too.

Deputy city clerk in Regina, Erna Hall, said it is important to put that criminal record in context. 

"There will be some people that, let's say, had a bar altercation when they were young and foolish kind of thing and they've paid their debt to society. And those kinds of things, that will show up."

The city of Saskatoon has also decided not to require criminal record checks for candidates. (Trevor Bothorel/CBC)

Hall says having a criminal record does not preclude a candidate from running anyway. She says if voters want to know, they can ask the candidates themselves.

Saskatoon city council also has no plan to require criminal record checks for its candidates. In fact, Hall says she is not aware of a single municipality that will take the government up on its ability to require criminal record checks.

The idea will be discussed today at an 11:45 a.m. CST meeting of the city of Regina's executive committee, but the final decision will be up to council on Jan 25.

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