New provincial legislation will impose requirements for local elected officials to be suspended with pay while facing criminal allegations and to be expelled if convicted.
The provincial government has introduced legislation that will require an elected local government official to be suspended with pay when facing a criminal charge and expelled from council if convicted.
B.C. Minister of Municipal Affairs Nathan Cullen introduced the legislation Thursday.
“These changes are what municipal leaders have been calling for. These changes are what the public expects. These are changes that we seek to implement as government,” said Cullen.
The proposed legislation has since prompted some members of Surrey city council to call on Mayor Doug McCallum to step down from his position, at least temporarily.
Coun. Jack Hundial said the proposed legislation should add more impetus for McCallum to step down as mayor even before it’s officially passed as law.
“Certainly, I’ll be pushing for Mayor McCallum to do the right thing and step down until the matter is sorted out before the court.
“The spirit and intent behind the legislation is there. Here’s a great example to apply this to. At the end of the day, it has to do with public confidence in the leadership,” said Hundial.
McCallum has a pre-trial court appearance set for April 11 as he faces one count of public mischief for allegedly lying to police following an apparent confrontation he had with Surrey citizens canvassing outside a South Surrey grocery store against the mayor’s police transition project last September.
McCallum then claimed to media and police his foot was run over by a citizen allegedly connected to the Keep the RCMP in Surrey group that was collecting signatures for a referendum on the transition with the aim of keeping the Surrey RCMP. Read the rest of the story at Vancouver Is Awesome