Background: Terrace City Council is pushing for a new provincial law prohibiting convicted criminals from holding public office.
Councillor Stacey Tyers, who presented the resolution, said she was inspired by a case in Pitt Meadows, B.C last year, when former councillor David Murray was charged with sexual assault on Nov. 2016. He remained on the council for more than a year afterward because there is no requirement that he had to step down.
The legislation in the Local Government Act, regulated through the Community Charter, currently disqualifies elected officials due to conflict of interest, failing to attend meetings or not taking an oath of office, but mentions nothing about having a criminal record.
The revision states people should be required to take a paid leave of absence from their elected position until a verdict is reached or another election is held. This practice isn’t uncommon to other organizations in the province, such as the RCMP. When an officer is charged with a serious crime they are immediately released or placed on paid leave until a decision is handed down from the courts.