Updated Council Procedure Bylaw to be considered October 7

Updated Council Procedure Bylaw to be considered October 7

(North Cowichan, BC) – The Municipality of North Cowichan is amending its Council Procedure Bylaw in order to allow the continued and ongoing ability to hold regular council meetings and committee meetings electronically.

The Province’s Bill 10 - Municipal Affairs Statutes Amendment Act, 2021, came into effect September 29, 2021, which provides municipalities with the authority to amend their procedure bylaw to host regular and special Council meetings and committee meetings electronically. This bill was required after Ministerial Order No. M192, which provided temporary pandemic-related provisions to allow electronic meetings, expired on September 28, 2021.

The bylaw amendment, which received three readings this evening (September 29), will be brought forward for adoption at a special Council meeting that will be held on Thursday, October 7, 2021 at 3:00 p.m. by video conference. The next regular Council meeting scheduled for October 6 has been cancelled as under the existing bylaw it would require in-person Council attendance. A special meeting of Council can be held electronically under the municipality’s existing Council Procedure Bylaw, allows the amended bylaw to be adopted, and also address agenda items that require Council’s immediate attention. 

During the pandemic, elected bodies around the world have made electronic meetings function seamlessly, with vast improvements to both hardware and software technologies. Staff, council, the general public, as well as delegations and consultants attending as presenters or guests have shared their approval for electronic meetings as it provides a safe way to meet while adhering to public health orders, reduces the need to travel (and travel expenses), and provides equity for members of the community who may wish to provide input.

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