A special meeting of Yorkton Council was held Monday morning pass a motion providing an exception to the City’s General Election Bylaw.
The change will permit municipal election candidates to submit an online criminal record check with their nomination papers, due to the emergency closure of the local RCMP detachment.
“We received notice from the RCMP about criminal record checks for those running in the election. They informed us they won’t be able to do them in time,” explained Yorkton Mayor Bob Maloney.
Maloney said the situation is related to a local detachment RCMP member testing positive for COVID-19 forcing a closure of the detachment to the general public.
The change was made by Council “because we don\t want to preclude anyone from running.”
As for the RCMP situation, Maloney said it is currently “unclear how deeply affected we’ll be,” adding he anticipates “it’s going to be a big effect.”
Maloney said while he is aware of the case at the detachment and the four announced cases at the Yorkton Regional High School, he has not been made aware of how broad the current situation might be in the city. He said the City will, as it has done throughout the pandemic, let the Saskatchewan Health Authority take the lead.
“We will follow all of their guidelines,” he said.
As it stands Maloney said it expected the RCMP detachment will receive “a deep cleaning” and that Saskatchewan Health will be doing contact tracings “of where traffic was in the building.” That could include City Hall since it is in the same building with the detachment.
“If they (Sask Health) tell us to close City Hall we will,” added Maloney.
As for RCMP service, Maloney said while the situation “is troubling” he is confident the RCMP will bring in personnel as necessary to continue to serve the community.