COVID-19 prompts Metro Vancouver regional government to change meeting rules

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      The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about a review of meeting procedures of the Metro Vancouver regional government.

      The result is a recommendation to change rules to allow electronic participation of local government officials sitting at the regional district’s board and its various committees.

      Likely to be approved at a special meeting on Wednesday (March 25), electronic participation will be permitted during a public health event or emergency.

      At present, electronic participation is allowed only by Metro Vancouver rules at special board meetings.

      “To address the issue of continuity of Board and Committee meetings during major health situations where in-person attendance is of concern, the current provision for electronic meetings could be broadened beyond the restriction of special board meetings only,” corporate office Chris Plagnol wrote in a report to the board.

      Since the March 25 meeting is a special board meeting, local government officials can participate by teleconference.

      “This review was precipitated by the Covid-19 pandemic recently confirmed by the World Health Organization,” Plagnol stated in his report.

      Metro Vancouver delivers vital services: drinking water, wastewater treatment, and garbage management.

      In addition, the regional federation of municipalities regulates air quality, plans urban growth, manages parks, and provides affordable housing for residents in the Lower Mainland.