Staff can live outside Alberni city limits

City staff won’t be required to live within city limits as a condition of employment.

City staff won’t be required to live within city limits as a condition of employment after a motion to adopt such a hiring policy was quashed at Port Alberni city council on Monday. The motion suggested all non-union city staff hired after March 1, 2015 be required to live within city limits.

Director of Corporate Services Theresa Kingston told council that enforcing residency requirements could be seen as discriminatory under both provincial and federal law.

“In any of the protected categories [in the B.C. Human Rights Code] it can be seen as discrimination against employment. As well, under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms in terms of interfering with a person’s choice as to where they live.”

Kingston warned council that requiring residence within city limits could put the city into a “position of being taken to human rights tribunal… if a person was to pursue that under the discriminatory part of that particular requirement.”

However, Coun. Jack McLeman, who originally brought the motion to council, said that he did not believe that the requirement was restrictive.

“My concern, and the concern of a lot of people that I talk to, is that if someone is making decisions and those decisions affect the mill rate of the taxpayer, that individual should be paying the same taxes and affected by the same mill rate. I believe people who make decisions and influence decisions should be living with those same decisions.”

Kingston replied that “it is actually council’s decision as to what the mill rate is,” not city staff’s.

Coun. Dan Washington brought up his concern that a residency requirement could lead to a less qualified candidate being hired. “If we have two candidates, one living in the city and one living outside the city and the outside guy was better qualified and willing to work for the same amount of money as the guy in the city, do we deny our taxpayers the expertise and cave to the city’s living in the city policy?”

Kingston said that the city’s preference has gone towards local hiring, “however, in some cases we don’t have people with the skills and qualifications to fill those positions.”

She said it would be easier for an out-of-towner taking a job to fulfill any such requirement than someone who lives in the regional district and gets hired by the city.

“You want to hire the best people you can in the position.”

The motion was defeated at council with a 4-3 vote.

reporter@albernivalleynews.com

twitter.com/alberninews

Editor’s note: A previous story on this issue printed in our Nov. 13, 2014 edition incorrectly stated that Coun. Jack McLeman raised a notice of motion that he would rescind his earlier notice. In fact, McLeman lifted the motion from the table, which allowed the subject to be brought back to council for consideration.

Just Posted

Filmmaker explores historic World Council of Indigenous Peoples

Solidarity stemming from Port Alberni event changed the face of Bolivian politics

BCHL: Bulldogs grab three points in weekend tilt with Grizzlies

Ryan Miotto extends scoring streak to four games

ELECTION 2018: Rosemarie Buchanan brings experience to School District 70

Buchanan advocates for student success on a variety of levels

‘Police are ready’ for legal pot, say Canadian chiefs

But Canadians won’t see major policing changes as pot becomes legal

Boeser tallies in OT as Canucks beat Penguins 3-2

Vancouver wins without star rookie Pettersson

Mayor of Kamloops says ‘history has been made’ with vote on B.C.’s lone pot shop

The store to be run by the province in B.C.’s Interior is opening Wednesday as pot sales become legal across Canada

New bus route to ‘replace’ Greyhound along Trans-Canada Highway

Rider Express Transportation says they will soon begin a bus service from Winnipeg to Vancouver

U.S. pot firm urges Trump to deny Canadian producers ‘competitive advantage’

The challenge for U.S. firms lies in the fact that while recreational cannabis is legal in nine states and medicinal pot in 22 others, it remains illegal under federal law

Government says imprisoned Canadian terror suspects must face consequences

Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale showed little sympathy Tuesday for such individuals who now want to return to Canada

How rules for inmate segregation in Canada will change under Bill C-83

Federal government proposing changes to rules around inmates in federal correctional institutions

Canada Post union issues strike notice; rotating strikes could begin Monday

Union says rotating strikes will begin if agreements aren’t reached with bargaining units

Duncan play faces challenges even before first performance as thieves strike

Thefts hamper Deathtrap days before opening at Mercury Theatre

Most Read