PITT MEADOWS, BC - Next week, Pitt Meadows Mayor John Becker will bring forward a motion at the Lower Mainland Local Government Association (LMLGA) conference, in Whistler. The motion is to encourage LMLGA to lobby the provincial government to make legislative changes to the BC Community Charter to give municipalities the power to suspend or remove an elected official convicted of a criminal offence.
“There’s a gap in the legislation that needs to be addressed,” says Mayor John Becker. “Currently there is no authority under the BC Community Charter to allow a municipality to remove an elected official from office even if convicted of a criminal offense.”
The City’s motion advocates through the LMLGA and subsequently the Union of BC Municipalities for appropriate changes to legislation for local government. The Disqualification from Holding Elected Office motion would require that an elected government official be put on paid leave immediately or disqualified from holding office upon conviction of a serious criminal offence or until the expiration of the time to file an appeal or determination of an appeal.
Currently there are limited provisions in the B.C. Community Charter that specifically sets out where elected officials can be disqualified from office, such as conflict of interest, failing to attend meetings or not taking an oath of office. But having a criminal record is not one of them.
“The City of Pitt Meadows is committed to leading this change, so that no other council will be faced with this unacceptable situation again,” says Mayor John Becker.
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