With the ever changing landscape of the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been questions regarding the format of the Town of Qualicum Beach’s Regular and In-Camera Council meetings. This media release intends to clarify how the Town conducts meetings during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In-Camera Meetings: In-camera meetings continue to take place in person only. These meetings deal with sensitive information which, if released, could be harmful to the municipality. It is vitally important that the information shared at these meetings be kept confidential until the information is released by Council.
The Town’s Council made a decision to not conduct confidential meetings electronically, with full consideration of the pandemic we are in, and, it is now clearly engrained within our newly approved Council Procedure Bylaw (adopted October 14, 2020).
The new Council Procedure Bylaw is a result of over a year of review and revision, and underwent a number of legal reviews, as well as a facilitated workshop with a parliamentarian to seek their input.
The Town is not the only municipality with this type of structure. The City of Parksville and the City of Nanaimo continue to host their public regular meetings in person. Further, the configuration and size of the Town’s Council Chamber exceeds the physical distancing requirements set by the Province, and has allowed ample space for Council to successfully meet in person for in-camera meetings over the past few months.
The most recent restrictions announced by Bonnie Henry and Adrian Dix (on November 19, 2020) specifically states that “the order does not restrict formal meetings. They can continue to operate with COVID-19 safety protocols. For example: City council meetings”.
The Town has taken many steps to maintain high safety standards around the prevention of COVID-19, and will continue to do so under the direction of Island Heath and Provincial Health.
Chief Administrative Officer
Town of Qualicum Beach
250 752 6921