Council Matters for May 20, 2020

Council met for about two hours during our Regular Council meeting on May 20, 2020.

 First, Council discussed resuming Committee and other Advisory Body meetings via electronic means. In March, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Council directed staff to put a moratorium on these meetings. However, in order to continue moving forward with Council business and key projects like the OCP engagement, Committee and Advisory Body meetings need to be resumed. As a result, Council decided to lift the moratorium. Going forward, all Committee and other Advisory Body meetings will be held electronically to ensure they are done safely, and will be streamed to provide transparency to the public. However, per our usual policy with respect to Committee meetings, the video stream will not be archived. 

 Next, Council rejected a motion to reconsider their March 4, 2020 decision to endorse the BC Energy Step Code Implementation Strategy.  This means, in effect, that the original decision has been reaffirmed, and staff will now move forward with the preparation of a report on the specifics of the implementation of this program. 

 Finally,  Council considered a request from the hospitality sector - including restaurants, bars, craft breweries, and winery tasting rooms  - asking for flexible, innovative, and expedited patio permitting in order to help foster economic recovery post-COVID-19.  Many of these businesses will have to rely on expanded outdoor seating to safely open their doors and welcome guests and tourists alike. Council agreed to support the hospitality industry by directing staff to expedite requests for patios and other outdoor expansions.

 Our next Regular Council meeting will take place, electronically, on Wednesday, June 3 at 1:30 pm.

Thank you for reading and staying informed!

Al Siebring, Mayor
Municipality of North Cowichan