A criminal record check will remain free for people who want to volunteer around the city.

The issue was first brought up by the RCMP in March. The RCMP say 1,732 criminal record checks were completed last year. However, in a three month period over 21 percent of them, most of them volunteer applications, were not picked up.

So, at the March 23rd council meeting, two recommendations were made to City Council. It was to establish either a 50 dollar or 25 dollar fee for a criminal record check for volunteers.

In the absence of Councilor Bruce Christensen, both recommendations resulted in a tie vote.

Mayor Bruce Lantz says on one hand, Fort St. John needs every volunteer it can get. But he says….

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So, on Tuesday’s meeting, councilors agreed that the city might lose volunteers if there’s a fee for the criminal record checks.

They decided it was better to keep the service free.

Councilor Evans suggested the city should make the procedure more transparent to the public.

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The RCMP cannot mail out the record checks, so it is up to the volunteer to pick them up.