Criminal check fees up in Central Kootenays

Residents in Salmo, Nelson, Kaslo, New Denver and Nakusp will pay $50 for employment-related checks and $20 for volunteer-based checks.

Central Kootenay residents in need of criminal record checks will soon be expected to pony up funds.

Starting Monday, residents serviced by RCMP detachments in Salmo, Nelson, Kaslo, New Denver and Nakusp will begin to pay $50 for employment-related checks and $20 for volunteer-based checks.

The revenue generated through the collection of these fees will fund a position that is dedicated solely to processing criminal record checks. Criminal record check applicants can now expect to receive their completed checks much quicker than has occurred in the past when waiting periods reached several weeks in some cases.

Inspector Nick Romanchuk explained that support resources have been stretched thin and the introduction of the fees is one way of reducing the burden to allow staff to complete other necessary duties.

“I don’t know what the exact numbers are but we process hundreds and probably thousands of these criminal record checks a year throughout the West Kootenay Boundary and it’s just incredibly cumbersome and it was just something that was just becoming overwhelming for us to manage,” he said, noting the process began in Greater Trail a number of years ago and expanded to the Boundary last year.

“I think it was a matter of capacity,” he said of the delay to integrate the fees at detachments like Salmo. “When we expanded into the Boundary a year ago, we wanted to see how it worked, if all the processes worked properly and so on. It did, it worked out very well so now we’ve decided to expand it further.”

Tim Payne with the Arrow and Slocan Lakes Community Services (ASLCS) in Nakusp says volunteerism as well as people seeking work will feel the impact of the fees.

“It will definitely have an effect,” he said, when he learned about the new fees being introduced.

“It’s definitely going to create barriers to businesses as well as individuals,” said Payne, “A lot of people starting new jobs find a lot of industry require criminal record checks.”

The checks are a common requirement for many kinds of employment, he added.

“Any human service industry where you’re working with folks, being in a position of respect and trust…when you need to be bondable, or are working with merchandise or money,” he listed.

The fees, which may or may not be reimbursed, can be daunting for people getting back into the job market, said Payne.

But the job market isn’t the only place that will feel the effects, claims Payne, who also believes volunteerism will also be affected.

“Volunteers already don’t make any money for their time,” he said. Payne believes when it’s going to cost them to volunteer, some people are going to think again.

While Romanchuk said he did receive some negative feedback from organizations that rely heavily on volunteers and a tight budget, he said the move was necessary.

“We had the odd complaint but this is what was happening before, we used to have an entire church congregation coming to us and having every member of the congregation submit a criminal record check,” he said. “That’s an absolute waste of our time and by charging fees, it’s eliminated a lot of that.”

For his part, Tim Payne would like to see a slide scale of fees for criminal record checks which is fair to those seeking the checks and those processing them.

 

Just Posted

Judgment reserved in Nakusp school sex trial

Trial concluded today with lawyer’s summations

Former teacher acquitted on two of four sex charges

Judge found no evidence to support sexual assault charges against Shanny McIvor

New Denver emergency ward to remain 24/7

Interior Health says it’s postponing changes to operating hours.

New Glade ferry enters testing phase

The Glade II will be able to carry heavier loads and will emit less greenhouse gases.

Smiles all around as province announces emergency ward funding

$2.1 million to go to much-needed upgrades

B.C. cougar kitten rescued after mother struck by vehicle

Conservation Officers find home for young kitten found dehydrated and frostbitten near Williams Lake

VIDEO: Thousands join women’s march events across B.C.

Today marks one year since the first Women’s March on Washington

Two Canadians, two Americans abducted in Nigeria are freed

Kidnapping for ransom is common in Nigeria, especially on the Kaduna to Abuja highway

Are you ready for some wrestling? WWE’s ‘Raw’ marks 25 years

WWE flagship show is set to mark its 25th anniversary on Monday

B.C. woman who forged husband’s will gets house arrest

Princeton Judge says Odelle Simmons did not benefit from her crime

Women’s movement has come a long way since march on Washington: Activists

Vancouver one of several cities hosting event on anniversary of historic Women’s March on Washington

Liberals’ 2-year infrastructure plan set to take 5: documents

Government says 793 projects totalling $1.8 billion in federal funds have been granted extensions

Workers shouldn’t be used as ‘pawns’ in minimum wage fight: Wynne

Comments from Kathleen Wynne after demonstrators rallied outside Tim Hortons locations across Canada

John ‘Chick’ Webster, believed to be oldest living former NHL player, dies

Webster died Thursday at his home in Mattawa, Ont., where he had resided since 1969

Most Read