West Shore municipalities are changing some things about council meetings, including meeting online, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry has imposed social distancing orders for everyone in the province that require people to keep a minimum physical distance of two metres from others as well as stay at home as much as possible. To comply, West Shore municipalities are changing things up when it comes to council meetings.
The City of Colwood has always provided live streams of council meetings online as well as archived video of past meetings. Now, council members will participate electronically using the application Zoom, according to Mayor Rob Martin. In-person public attendance is not necessary thanks to a new temporary Ministerial Order. Instead, the public can e-mail comments to email@example.com up to noon on the day of a meeting where the item will be considered. Residents can speak to council or committee during public participation by phone by pre-registering by noon on the day of the meeting. To register, e-mail the same corporate services account. Access to city hall is by appointment only.
The City of Langford has reduced council meetings to once a month and council chambers are closed to the public. A call-in option has been added to the public to attend and participate in council meetings. Call-in information can be found at langford.ca. Council members will also call in for meetings and all committee meetings have been temporarily suspended.
Metchosin Municipal Hall is no longer open to the public and all public meetings were suspended for the month of March. There is no update as to the month of April but the District can be contacted by phone at 250-474-3186 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
View Royal has decided to hold only one council meeting on the third Tuesday of each month. Committee of the whole meetings on the second Tuesday of each month will proceed as well. Access to town hall is limited and social distancing measures will be put in place for meetings. The public can submit correspondence to council by e-mail at email@example.com.
Highlands council resolved to meet on the first Monday of the month during the pandemic. Council meetings will be held electronically and the District can invite a limited number of people to observe the meeting electronically using the application Zoom. Anyone interested in joining the meeting can contact the District directly prior to noon on the meeting day at firstname.lastname@example.org. Members of the public are encouraged to communicate with council about any agenda items using that e-mail address as well.