Summerland council has offered livestreaming of its council meetings during the COVID-19 pandemic. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)

Summerland council has offered livestreaming of its council meetings during the COVID-19 pandemic. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)

Summerland council to continue livestreaming of council meetings after pandemic

Hybrid meetings expected rather than return to pre-pandemic council meeting structure

For close to 15 months, because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the public has not been able to attend Summerland’s municipal council meetings in person.

Instead, the meetings have been held virtually and streamed online as its happening. Those who wish to comment at a public hearing or during a public comment session may do so over the internet or by telephone.

READ ALSO: Summerland amends procedure for virtual council meetings, adding transparency

READ ALSO: Summerland council to continue online meetings

While the province is in the process of relaxing its COVID-19 protocols, Karen Needham, Summerland’s director of corporate services, said the physical distancing requirements are still in place for municipal meetings.

“We’ll soon be able to do in-person meetings,” she said.

At present, some members of council have been together in the council chambers, while others have been participating from their homes. Because of the physical distancing requirements, the public is not permitted in the council chambers at present.

During the pandemic, a provincial health order set out the protocols for municipal governments as they conduct meetings. The order stated that open meetings must be transparent, but a council or governing body is not required to allow the public to attend if attendance cannot be accommodated under the requirements of the public health act.

The technology for virtual meetings and live-streaming will remain in place after the pandemic restrictions have been lifted, Needham said.

She said hybrid meetings will be likely following the pandemic.

The ministerial order allowing for virtual meetings is set to expire on July 10, but the measures set up for the COVID-19 pandemic are expected to continue after the pandemic is over.

“The lessons we’ve learned during the past year have shown us how we can do things better,” Josie Osborne, Minister of Municipal Affairs said in June.

“We are hearing that having the option to participate in public hearings and meetings virtually is more equitable for people who face barriers to joining in person, which is why we are giving communities the power to do a mix of virtual, in-person or hybrid meetings, while maintaining transparency safeguards.”

To report a typo, email:
news@summerlandreview.com
.



news@summerlandreview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Municipal Government

Just Posted

Nine exhibits representing the commercial core of downtown Salmon Arm in 1910 are pictured at R.J. Haney Heritage Village & Museum. (Facebook - R.J. Haney Heritage Village & Museum)
R.J. Haney Heritage Village and Museum ready for visitors

Opening date for popular attraction Wednesday, June 16

A for sale sign is shown in by new homes in Beckwith, Ont., just outside Ottawa, on Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Thompson-Okanagan population grew despite COVID-19: report

The Chartered Professional Accountants of BC said there are 8,462 new residents in the region

Graduating Grade 12 student Savannah Lamb has been awarded an approximate $40,000 scholarship from the Beedie Luminaries foundation. (Contributed)
Dedicated Salmon Arm student earns scholarship to pursue post-secondary education

Savannah Lamb is graduating from Salmon Arm Secondary with a $40,000 scholarship

Teslyn Bates, a Grade 11 student at Salmon Arm Secondary, was among four musicians from the Shuswap who won awards at the 2021 Virtual Performing Arts BC Festival held June 1-5. (Contributed)
Province takes note of young Shuswap musicians at June festival

Four local contestants receive awards at 2021 Virtual Performing Arts BC Festival

Shuswap Immigrant Services Society plans to hold a vigil on Friday, June 25 at 8 p.m. to honour the victims of what officials are calling a terrorist attack on five Muslims in London, Ont. (File photo)
Salmon Arm council holds minute of silence to honour victims of Ontario attack

Shuswap Immigrant Services Society plans vigil for Muslim family on June 25, 8 p.m. at McGuire Lake

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

Vernon-Monashee NDP MLA Harwinder Sandhu supported a motion in the B.C. legislature for Canada to create a national Indigenous History month Monday, June 13, 2021. (Contributed)
Canada needs a national Indigenous History Month, Vernon MLA agrees

Harwinder Sandhu supports motion to recognize June as month to advance reconciliation efforts with First Nations

(Facebook)
New trial date set for Penticton beach attacker’s triple assault charges

May trial was delayed after Crown witnesses failed to show up

Orange ribbons are tied to the fence outside Vernon’s Gateway Homeless Shelter on 33rd Street. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
POLL: Low-key Canada Day in the works for Vernon

Councillor calling for Indigenous recognition for 2022

A conceptual design of Vernon’s new Active Living Centre, which will go to referendum Oct. 15, 2022. (Rendering)
Active living centre 2022 referendum planned in Vernon

City hoping to get Coldstream and Areas B and C back on board

Closure of the 2900 block of 30th Avenue will allow restaurants and other businesses to extend their patios onto the street. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
Green light given to downtown Vernon road closure

Single block of 30th Avenue to close over summer months to boost business

A provided photo of the suspect. (Kelowna RCMP/Contributed)
Kelowna RCMP investigating after business robbed

An undisclosed amount of money and merchandise were taken from the business

Travel Penticton went to city council for support in increasing the tax on short-term stays to fund a convention bureau and affordable housing. (File photo)
Travel Penticton seeks to grow through increased hotel tax

The increased funds would go to creating a convention bureau and to affordable housing

Most Read