Vernon council meetings have now gone strictly virtual following the latest provincial health orders aimed at reducing the spread of COVID-19. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)

Vernon council meetings have now gone strictly virtual following the latest provincial health orders aimed at reducing the spread of COVID-19. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)

COVID-19 closes Vernon council meetings to public

Like everything else in the world, municipal government is only accessible online

Like everything else, municipal governance is going strictly virtual.

The City of Vernon council meetings and public hearings are now closed to the public (including the media). The change follows the extension of in-person and community-based gathering across B.C., announced by Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry Dec. 7. The intention is to help significantly reduce the spread of COVID-19.

READ MORE: Events, gatherings banned through Christmas, New Years in B.C. with no COVID reprieve in sight

“In accordance with this province-wide directive, the City of Vernon is reminding the public about opportunities to view council meetings electronically and how individuals may continue to participate in upcoming public hearings, through written submissions,” the city said in a Dec. 8 press release.

The city video records all open council meetings and public hearings and makes them available at vernon.ca.

The Dec. 14 council meeting and public hearing will be available by noon on Dec. 15.

During the hearing, city staff will make presentations on the applications before council. All written submissions received by the corporate officer by 3 p.m. that day will be read into the record and posted on vernon.ca/publichearings. Council will then recess the meeting until Jan. 11, 2021.

“In response to the health order, the city has temporarily extended the public hearing process to provide an opportunity for individuals to view the meeting online, view the written submissions regarding the applications, and provide additional written comment prior to the Jan. 11 meeting.”

Written comments must be received by the corporate officer by 3 p.m. Jan. 7, 2021, they can be emailed to phearings@vernon.ca.

The city will continue this process until the PHO rescinds or amends the order to allow in-person attendance at public hearings again.

READ MORE: Interior Health reports 203 new COVID-19 cases; two more deaths


@VernonNews
jennifer@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

CoronavirusMunicipal Government

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A historic home near Granny’s Fruit Stand in Summerland was the home of two of the community’s mayors. J.R. Campbell and Don Cameron both lived at the home on Highway 97 in Summerland, but not at the same time. (Photo courtesy of the Summerland Museum)
Historic house was home to two Summerland mayors

Building along Highway 97 was constructed in 1906

Interior Health reported 91 new COVID-19 cases in the region Jan. 20, 2021 and three additional deaths. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
95 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health, two deaths

Another member of Vernon’s Noric House has passed

Fiction writing contest
A call to writers in the Okanagan

UBCO holds annual fiction writing contest

Vaccine rollout is focused on health care workers first, especially those dealing with long-term care facilities. (Nathan Denette - Canadian Press)
General public shouldn’t expect vaccines until fall: Interior Health

Interior Health focused on vaccinating long-term and first-line care workers

A mother hold hands with her daughter while sharing about her struggles with addiction during Overdose Awareness Day. (Jesse Major/Black Press file)
Overdose and suicide support group starts in Penticton

Penticton was one of the province’s communities hardest hit by the overdose crisis in 2020

Businesses continue to struggle under COVID-19 restrictions as the pandemic reaches the one-year mark. (B.C. government)
Another 564 COVID-19 cases, mass vaccine plan coming Friday

15 more deaths, community cluster declared in Williams Lake

Authorities have confirmed a case of COVID-19 within a school in Kelowna. Someone within the Rutland Elementary School community has tested positive. (Aman Parhar/Omineca Express/FILE)
Authorities confirm COVID-19 exposure in Central Okanagan school

Interior Health (IH) states they will be following up with anyone potentially exposed

Homeless man lying on the bench. (File photo)
Temporary emergency shelter opens in Central Okanagan

The shelter, located at the former location of Tree Brewing, will offer 38 beds

Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran said the city won’t look at changing its policy regarding automatic cost of living pay bumps for himself and city councillors, despite the COVID-19 pandemic. (File)
Kelowna won’t look at nixing automatic pay raises for council, mayor

Mayor Colin Basran said the raise is minuscule, won’t look at changing policy amid residents’ COVID struggles

A specialized RCMP team is investigating a suspicious trailer, which might have connections to the illicit drug trade, found abandoned outside a Cache Creek motel. (Photo credit: <em>Journal</em> files)
Police probe U-Haul trailer linked to illicit drugs left outside Cache Creek motel

Hazardous materials found inside believed to be consistent with the production of illicit drugs

Premier John Horgan leaves the podium following his first press conference of the year as he comments on various questions from the media in the Press Gallery at B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Monday, January 13, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Interprovincial travel restrictions a no-go, Horgan says after reviewing legal options

The B.C. NDP government sought legal advice as concerns of travel continue

Kevin Lee Barrett is charged with attempted murder and aggravated assault. (Facebook)
Court hears of victim’s injuries in West Kelowna attempted murder trial

Two-week-long trial continues for Kevin Barrett, accused of trying to kill mother in West Kelowna

Robert Riley Saunders. (File)
Disgraced Kelowna social worker faces another class-action lawsuit

Zackary Alphonse claims he was not informed of resources available to him upon leaving government care

McBain Insurance in Summerland gave a donation of $816 to Angus Place. The money will go towards a new floor in the bathing room in the seniors care facility. From left are Chris Emmons of McBain Insurance, Stacey Schieman of McBain Insurance and Charmaine Kramer of Parkdale Place Housing Society. (Contributed)
Donation to help with bathing room work at Summerland seniors facility

Earlier contribution will be used to replace aging tub at Angus Place

Most Read