Saanich councillors Zac de Vries, Judy Brownoff, Colin Plant, Nathalie Chambers and Ned Taylor (back row, left to right); Karen Harper, Susan Brice, Mayor Fred Haynes, and Rebecca Mersereau (front row, left to right). (Photo via the District of Saanich)

Saanich public input, hearings resume using phone-in model

Saanich council returns to Municipal Hall May 25 without public present

Saanich council is set to return to Municipal Hall on May 25 and public input will resume but for now, it will be by phone.

In an effort to avoid exposure to COVID-19, councillors attended their last in-person meeting on March 23 before agreeing to move to a conference call format and to temporarily suspend public input.

READ ALSO: Saanich council temporarily suspends open forum as meetings go electronic in light of COVID-19

Council meetings continued to take place electronically as Mayor Fred Haynes emphasized the importance of keeping Saanich “operating efficiently and safely.” Residents were invited to tune in to meetings via livestream though only audio could be accessed as meetings outside the chambers couldn’t be filmed.

On Monday at 7 p.m., council will once again be conducting business in the council chambers but residents still won’t be present. Instead, those hoping to participate in the public input portion of the meeting will have to do so by phone using a call-in system, Haynes explained, adding that it’s the same system used by the province when conducting weekly updates with B.C. mayors.

“It’s very difficult to get the public into Municipal Hall with the current conditions,” he said. “It will be safer to phone in.”

READ ALSO: Saanich looks at moving to electronic public hearings in June

Anyone wishing to speak during the meeting is asked to register by email at council@saanich.ca or by phone at 250-475-5501 before noon on Monday. Staff will take down the resident’s name, address and date of the meeting they plan to speak at, said Megan Catalano, spokesperson for the District.

Those who plan to speak are asked to tune in to the livestream for information about when to call-in, Catalano explained. She added that specific instructions for participation will be sent to the registered participants by email.

Residents can also still submit public input by email or mail until noon on the day of the meeting.

Public hearings will also be resuming on June 2, Haynes said. Residents will use the same call-in method to share their thoughts on three different zoning bylaw amendment requests.


@devonscarlett
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

devon.bidal@saanichnews.com

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

Just Posted

Saanich police see spike in excessive speeding compared to previous years

Nearly 100 excessive speeders caught since January 2020

Colwood branch drop-off to continue throughout summer

COVID-19 safety measures remain in place

Welcome to grilling season: Saanich firefighter talks barbecue safety tips

Grills should be cleaned, serviced prior to use, firefighter says

Cycling scavenger hunt comes to Tweed City

Cyclists scour Oak Bay for clues in Bike to Work Week event

Colwood woman launches Adopt a Grad

Facebook page aims to support students during pandemic

11 new COVID-19 cases in B.C. as top doc urges caution amid ‘encouraging’ low rates

Dr. Bonnie Henry also announced that two care home outbreaks would be declared over

Surrey mayor’s party under fire for ‘sickening’ tweet accusing northern B.C. RCMP of murder

Mayor Doug McCallum says tweet, Facebook post ‘sent out by unauthorized person’

Father’s Day Walk Run for prostate cancer will be virtual event this year throughout B.C.

The annual fundraiser for Prostate Cancer Foundation BC has brought in $2.5 million since 1999

Dr. Bonnie Henry announces official ban on overnight kids’ camps this summer

New ban comes after talking with other provincial health officials across the country, Henry says

Senior man in hospital after unprovoked wolf attack near Prince Rupert

Conservation officers are on site looking for the wolf

VIDEO: NASA astronauts blast off into space on SpaceX rocket

Marks NASA’s first human spaceflight launched from U.S. soil in nearly a decade

‘I knew what he wanted’: Kootenay man spends hours in tree as black bear patrols below

Francis Levasseur is no stranger to the outdoors, but a recent run-in with a bear caused quite a scare

PHOTOS: U.S. cities brace for increasing unrest over police killing of George Floyd

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz has fully mobilized the state’s National Guard

$200,000 Maybach impounded after ‘L’ driver caught excessively speeding in Vancouver

Meanwhile, the supervisor sat in the passenger seat, police said

Most Read