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Regional council to return to in-person meetings

Councillors can work remotely if they provide reasonable notice
Screenshot 2022-08-11 112650
Regional Council meets on Aug. 9

Regional council has decided to return to in-person meetings beginning on October 4. Council had been meeting online since the beginning of the pandemic. 

The decision came after a Administration & Finance Committee meeting on Tuesday. 

Staff provided three options for Council to consider; a return to in-person meetings, allowing some electronic participation, and having no restrictions on participating online.

Councillor Sandy Shantz said working from home did not lead to a decrease in productivity. 

"I think the hybrid meetings, we've done it all the through COVID, and it's worked well," Shantz said. "People are engaged, they do their homework, and they participate."

However, some concerns were raised about continuing online work. Councillor Tom Galloway explained his view on the matter. 

"I think there would have to be some restrictions on it," said Galloway. "I don't want an individual who spends six months of the year in Florida, to be Zooming in every week."

Regional chair Karen Redman agreed that it would be challenging for someone to adjudicate whether someone had a legitimate reason for working remotely. 

"I would prefer people being here in person, and if you opt to have a remote option, that you would then be on own recognizance," Redman said. "It would just need to be communicated with clerks so they know what to expect."

Ultimately, that is the plan for councillors going forward. Committee and council meeting will be held in-person, however councillors can work remotely if they provide enough notice to the regional clerk. 

Members of the public will be able to attend meetings in-person or can watch online. 

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