Thoughts on Council Raises & Police Checks for Cornwall Ontario Council by Jamie Gilcig – DEC 18, 2014

Thoughts on Council Raises & Police Checks for Cornwall Ontario Council by Jamie Gilcig – DEC 18, 2014

jg2CORNWALL Ontario – I’m going to pay a rare compliment to our city council.   Maybe rare shouldn’t Leslie Mayorbe the term.   Because of the weirdness that was the Kilger council of the last term there was very little to compliment our elected officials about.  Nearly half of our current council are from that last group; but at least a first baby step has occurred under new mayor Leslie O’Shaughnessy.

One of the worst things about the last council was the appearance of the dress rehearsal before council.  It seemed like bad Russian theatre to watch the meetings roll out with what seemed to be staged questions and issues answered.

Watching video of Tuesday’s meeting it appeared that this council just might have to work without a net; at least for part of the time and that’s a good thing.    Kudos to Mayor O’Shaughnessy and council and hopefully this will help some of them learn some much needed communication skills and the realities of transparency and accountability.

New councilor Brock Frost announced that he’ll be delaying presentation of his first salary cheque from council to local charity.

Criminal Back Ground Checks – this has been a feel good discussion; but it’s looking to be a big sucking pool of energy. There are of course different types of checks.  CCPS offer three types.

Interesting enough the CCPS have this warning before filling out their online service.

NOTE: We do not recommend that you attempt to use this system if you:

  • Have lived in Canada for less than one (1) year, and/or;

  • Are under the age of eighteen (18) years, and/or;

  • Have no established personal credit history – i.e. no credit cards, bank loans, mortgage, etc. – that is required in order to authenticate your ID using EIV

Of course this would eliminate some immigrants and most of the poor who do not have a credit card from participating in committees.  Also, those under 18, on the Youth Advisory committee would be out of luck as well.

police checks

A CRC, which most would be applying for unless dealing with the Vulnerable sector is defined by the CCPS as

Criminal Records Check (CRC)

This check is intended for applicants who are involved as a volunteer, employee or in any situation where a basic PCRC is requested (i.e., retail or immigration). This check is NOT intended for applicants who are seeking volunteer and/or employment with vulnerable persons.

The Police Criminal Record Check will include the following information:

  1. Criminal convictions (summary and indictable) from CPIC and/or local databases.
  2. Outstanding entries, such as charges and warrants.

The Police Criminal Record Check WILL NOT include:

  1. Absolute and conditional discharges.

  2. Current judicial orders, including Peace Bonds, Probation and Prohibition orders under the Criminal Code of Canada.

  3. Convictions where a record suspension (pardon) has been granted.

  4. Convictions under provincial statutes.

  5. Local police contact.

  6. Ministry of Transportation information (PARIS).

  7. Family Court Restraining Orders.

  8. Foreign information

  9. A Vulnerable Sector (VS) query of pardoned sex offenders to ascertain if the applicant has been convicted of and granted a record suspension (pardon) for any of the sexual offences that are listed in the schedule to the Criminal Records Act (CRA).

  10. Any reference to incidents involving mental health contact that did not result in a conviction.

  11. Charged and processed by other means such as Diversion.

 

A Vulnerable Sector scan includes:

The Police Vulnerable Sector Check will include the following:

  1. Criminal convictions (summary and indictable) from CPIC and/or local databases.
  2. Outstanding entries, such as charges and warrants, judicial orders, Peace Bonds, Probation and Prohibition Orders. As per CPIC policy, information obtained from the Investigative Databank must be confirmed and authorized for release by the contributing agency.
  3. Absolute and Conditional Discharges where still within the applicable disclosure periods.
  4. Family Court Restraining Orders.
  5. Charged and processed by other means such as diversion.
  6. Dispositions including, but not limited to, Withdrawn, Dismissed, and cases of Not Criminally Responsible by Reason of Mental Disorder.
  7. A review of all available police contacts including but not limited to theft, weapons, sex offences, or violent, harmful or threatening behavior.
  8. As authorized for release by the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Criminal Code convictions for sexual offences for which a record suspension (pardon) was received, identified as a result of a Vulnerable Sector verification search.

The Police Vulnerable Sector Check WILL NOT include:

  1. Convictions under provincial statutes.

  2. Ministry of Transportation information (PARIS).

  3. Suspect information that would hinder an ongoing investigation or where the suspect has not been spoken to.

  4. Youth Criminal Justice Act (YCJA) information beyond the applicable disclosure period.

  5. Any reference to contagious diseases.

  6. Victim/Complaint information will not be released unless under exceptional circumstances.

  7. Foreign information.

  8. Mental Health Act terminology (refer to Ontario Human Rights Considerations).

That’s a lot of information; information that is not required by the very people making the decisions as to ends up on a committee, our city council and in particular the new lay committee; Mayor O’Shaughnessy, and councilors Clement, Hebert, Murphy and Dupelle.

At the meeting some key comments were made.

Elaine MacDonald called it Draconian and compared it to a Police State.   As repugnant as Ms MacDonald can be that was very entertaining.  If she was more professional I’d love to hear from her how she visualizes that statement.

Maurice Dupelle said that nobody on Cornwall Youth Committee has a check and he in fact doesn’t feel comfortable being on that committee unless there are.  He said we’re way behind the times and he may be right. Glen Stor Dun Lodge requires checks of its staff.

Brock Frost strangely enough cited the Charter of Human rights.  He seemed quite happy during the election when the Chamber of Commerce violated candidates rights over attire and speech; but feels police checks could be potential for adverse human rights issues.  Of course Mr. Frost himself has a criminal record for his DUI and may in fact end up extradited to the US over his Real Estate dealings in Nicaragua.

Should Council, Staff, and Committee Members Have Police Checks in Cornwall Ontario?

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Rescinding of Salary Raise for Council.

This was the 800 pound gorilla in the election for some reason.   Elections can be strange, especially in this part of the world.  Most of those that voted for the raise were dumped and those that made it lost a lot of votes.  Councilor Rivette was one bad story in CFN away from finishing behind Guy St. Jean.

Oddly enough this was not brought up at the first council meeting and even more oddly there was a mass of confusion as to Councilor Dupelle’s motion; chiefly as to when it was submitted to council and why Elaine MacDonald felt like it was dumped on them at the last minute when Mr. Dupelle tendered the motion to the clerk after the first meeting?

Elaine simply doesn’t support it.  Her multiple pensions must not be keeping her in really ugly footwear.   She demanded more lead time, and actually suggested that they needed more info after all the reports and consultant work done in the last election.  It was bizarre to watch; but then Ms MacDonald usually is.  She wanted data going back further than ten years for some reason.  She cited that someone on minimum wage should be able to quit their job and survive on the honorarium that council receives.    Frankly that was an odd one for a multitude of reasons.  She also was upset at the wording of the motion stating that a majority of council wanted to kill the raise.  She may be trying to fill former councilor Glen Grant’s shoes…

It was interesting to see Councilor Dupelle counter her suggesting that perhaps she should have read her agenda.

andre bernieCouncilor Rivette went on an on about how much work and value councilors provide for little money.   He clearly was sticking to his position and grasping at any reason to support the raise.

 I’m not sorry for voting for salary raise

He continued battering out points;

It was done properly, by consultant, all I”m saying is nobody has done it for person gain.   We wouldn’t have been doing our job if we didn’t give it (the raise)  We’re not doing it for the money.  Points to private meetings and all the work that they did.  let’s not go around saying that councilors are bieng greedy.  That’s bull.  I haven’t had one person say that Andre you’re being greedy.  Put your name on the ballot.  Walk a mile in someone’s shoes.

Councilor Clement veered hard right away from her far left compadre and disagreed with both Rivette and MacDonald.  Of course she earns a higher salary as a lawyer than both other councilors.    To her credit she reiterated that she had told the former council that they didn’t need to hire a consultant.  She didn’t agree with the amendment and that they didn’t  need to spend any more time on the issue and vote on it now, yes or now and not waste any more time   She was right.

Justin Towndale also just wanted to vote vote on the issue.  He made the valid point that they had plenty of time to discuss this on the campaign trail. Council is not a part time job. It’s not meant to replace a full time job.  He also cited that 29 ran for council. No problems attracting talent.

Frankly council should not get more than a Cost of Living increase.   I do see the issue however of our honorarium being well below the median.  I think a refreshing and simply alternative would be to give Council a $1,000 bump per term in addition to the CIP until reaching the 50th percentile if they can tow the line on taxation.      IE no tax raises.   Anyone, even elected officials should not get a raise unless they’ve earned it.

What do you think Cornwall?  Should council keep most of the candidates promise to rescind the ridiculous raise given by the Kilger council?

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