Council to allow residents to attend council meetings electronically
The municipality has amended the procedural by-law to allow people to attend and participate in council meetings electronically post-pandemic, after council voted for the amendment on May 26.
This amendment follows legislation passed by the province that permits municipalities to conduct council, local board and committee meetings electronically in case of local or provincial emergencies.
“This pandemic has shown that we need more flexibility to conduct council during unusual circumstances,” said Cathie Ritchie, city clerk, Kawartha Lakes.
“We want to make council as accessible as possible for residents and this amendment gives us the option to continue public participation, while maintaining safety measures like physical distancing as needed. Without it, once the state of emergency is lifted the municipal act would bring restrictions on electronic meetings back into effect.”
Electronic participation will apply to council, local boards and committees of council.
Members who are unable to attend these meetings may participate via audio/visual or audio electronic communication devices under certain circumstances.
To further allow public participation and enable non-member presentations during this time, processes will also be provided to enable various means of input into meetings.
Participation will be provided through electronic means, and in-person arrangements may be made through timed appointments only when necessary.
Non-members that will also be permitted to participate electronically include: City staff, consultants, deputations and invited presenters.
All other rules will apply in accordance with the City’s Procedural By-law.