Couple planting in plot near school require police, FBI check
Red tape trips up green thumb in Langley, BC
By Cheryl Chan
May 25, 2011
All Jacob de Raadt wants to do is plant some vegetables.
Instead, the 68-year-old Langley gardener’s visions of a bountiful harvest are getting nipped in the bud by what he calls “absurd” bureaucratic requirements.
When de Raadt and his wife Lydia paid $15 for a community garden plot beside Nicomekl Elementary near their townhouse in March they were told they had to undergo a criminal record check for the last five years.
Aside from the Township of Langley -where the couple lived for 11 years -and White Rock, the de Raadts also lived in Arizona, where de Raadt worked for the state department of transportation, for almost two years out of the last five.
But after applying for a check, he was told Arizona is a “closed record state,” meaning criminal records are not public and that he’ll have to go through the FBI. The application costs $18 per person and takes six weeks -too late for planting season.