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Cold Lake is now charging for criminal record checks

Residents in Cold Lake who require a criminal record check will encounter a new system where they will be asked to pay a fee to City Hall before heading to the RCMP Detachment to complete the check.

The small fee will be implemented moving into early 2022.

Council approved the change in an effort to enhance accessibility. Research shows the City’s RCMP clerks were processing an average of 140 criminal record checks every month with a significant portion never being picked up.

The number one service provided by RCMP Detachments is the administrative processing of criminal record checks. RCMP say the fee helps to recoup part of the cost.

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“We have a huge group of volunteers in the community, and we understand this is a big change,” said Mayor Craig Copeland. “But when we compared to the rest of the province, we realized we needed to get on board with charging at least a small fee.”

Of 24 RCMP Detachments that were canvased, the fees ranged from $20 to $70 for a check.

The City of Cold Lake is opting for the lower end of the spectrum with a standard or student applicant being $25, and any volunteer position is $10 for the check.

The fee must be paid at City Hall because the Cold Lake RCMP Detachment cannot process payments. Once the payment is complete, the applicant will receive a receipt which must be brought to the RCMP Detachment. Once the receipt is presented the RCMP can process the record check.

“We’re thankful to those who have understood and accepted the change when they come by City Hall to pay their fee,” said Copeland. “For those that have been volunteering or working in vulnerable sectors for years, it definitely came as a change.”

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