Moncton City Councillor Bryan Butler would like to see municipal officials subject to criminal record checks.
Butler says provincial and federal political candidates go through vetting processes, but that’s not the case for city councillors.
“I find this is amazing that we sit in there, with making multimillion dollar decisions, and nobody has had a criminal record check,” says Butler. “You know, the RCMP come in and give us high end briefings, no criminal record check.”
Butler was asked what the effect would be, for councillors or city managers after they were made aware of criminal behaviour in a colleague.
“I, as a councillor, when I make my decision to talk, I might have to say listen, to Council, let’s make a resolution that he has to leave,” explains Butler. “You know, it might be a little bit sticky, people might get a little peeved, but I think at the very end, people are gonna be happy to know who’s sitting on council.”
“I think people have a right to know that,” continued Butler.
Butler believes councillors, and city staff should have a right to know whether fellow employees have been found guilty of breaking the law in the past.
“If somebody is sitting there, and I know that he has a record for maybe fraud, or maybe even bribing other local officials, in some other city,” adds Butler. “I have issues with him sitting in the room when it comes to confidential [business].”
While Butler made it clear he has no concerns about his current colleagues, he added they have to consider the future.