Helping volunteers make a difference

MLA Donna Barnett salutes volunteers who help make a difference in communities across the province.

Few things in life are as rewarding, and do as much good for the community, as volunteering with children and vulnerable adults. Working for a volunteer or non-profit organization makes a big difference in the lives of many people, and we are lucky to have so many great volunteers who are willing to give their time to a good cause.

Our province is a leader when it comes to protecting and ensuring the safety of children and vulnerable adults. Two years ago, B.C. became the only province to implement mandatory criminal record checks of those who work with vulnerable adults, which include the elderly and people with disabilities. These checks ensure that these vulnerable groups aren’t at risk of exploitation or abuse.

However, the cost of criminal record checks can place a burden on volunteers and non-profit organizations, creating barriers to participation.

To help overcome these barriers, our province is making volunteer and non-profit groups eligible for free criminal record checks for their volunteers who work with vulnerable adults and children.

By removing the barriers to volunteering that the cost of criminal record checks created, more people will be able to volunteer with groups like youth sports associations or organizations that provide support for those with disabilities.

I’d like to thank all of the fantastic volunteers out there who share their time to make our community a better place to live.

Donna Barnett is the Liberal MLA for Cariboo-Chilcotin.