L to R - Lori Borth and Justin Calof (top), from the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development presented to council Feb. 8, 2021. (District of Vanderhoof/Kendra Kinsley)

L to R - Lori Borth and Justin Calof (top), from the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development presented to council Feb. 8, 2021. (District of Vanderhoof/Kendra Kinsley)

Vanderhoof council discuss hosting virtual community meetings

Due to COVID regulations, council chambers have been closed to the public.

In their discussions, Vanderhoof council has shown an interest in organizing virtual community meetings to discuss pertinent topics with citizens, says Mayor Gerry Thiessen.

Due to COVID regulations, council chambers have been closed for public meetings of council. However, since Dec. 14, video recordings of these meetings have been made available to citizens, a day after the meeting takes place.

READ MORE: District spent $25K upgrading council chambers to meet pandemic guidelines

The Express received reports of residents questioning council’s transparency during the pandemic, especially on what the process looks like for people looking to ask questions during a public meeting.

Thiessen said residents are encouraged to send questions to Kendra Kinsley, corporate officer and Lori Egli, chief administrative officer. Kinsley and Egli would then hand over those questions to Thiessen, who responds to them during the meeting. Residents can then access a video of the meeting on the district’s website the next day.

The mayor said, virtual community meetings will help engage citizens more on topics like the Official Community Plan 2040 and zoning bylaw regulations. “Those are going to have some significant ramifications in the future as to how we are operating,” Thiessen said.

Housing and environmental stewardship are the two other topics council wants to engage residents on, if they organize a virtual community meeting.

No other information is available around when the meeting will be scheduled, as it is in its nascent stage of discussion.

Meanwhile, Thiessen said he feels things are getting better in terms of the pandemic, after a discussion with Coastal GasLink officials and Dr. Allan Holmes. He said if it continues to get better, council would consider opening chambers for public meetings in the next couple of weeks.

“Certainly there seems to be a kind of anticipation that things are getting better. And I think the combination of what we see happening in other countries, with the infection and rate of hospitalization, deaths have started to drop dramatically for some reason here in the last couple of weeks. And the amount of vaccination getting around as well,” he said.

To send in questions to the district during public meetings of council or apply for a delegation, email Lori Egli at LoriEgli@district.vanderhoof.ca or Kendra Kinsley at corporate@district.vanderhoof.ca.

Aman Parhar
Editor – Vanderhoof Omineca Express, Caledonia Courier


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Municipal Governmentnorthernbc

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

Just Posted

(899 Vanderhoof Air Cadets/Facebook)
Vanderhoof Air Cadets to hold fundraising raffle this summer

Winners will be announced in May this year

Artemis Gold is taking a different approach with the Blackwater Project. The company will be working in three phases. The average gold production at Blackwater will be 248,000 ounces in Phase 1, 420,000 ounces in Phase 2 and 316,000 ounces in Phase 3. (Submitted image)
Artemis Gold provides update on Blackwater Gold Project

Ore grade control drilling, metallurgical test work and more being conducted

NDIT logo.
NDIT grants over $160K to Vanderhoof for street lighting project on Burrard

Total cost of the project is approximately $380,000

Internet speeds in Vanderhoof have been a cause of concern for many local businesses. (File photo)
Lack of good connectivity puts rural communities at a disadvantage: Vanderhoof Mayor

The district is working with RDBN to get better internet facilities to town.

The James C Richardson Pipe Band marches in a Remembrance Day parade on Nov. 11, 2019 in Chilliwack. Wednesday, March 10 is International Bagpipe Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of March 7 to 13

International Bagpipe Day, Wash Your Nose Day and Kidney Day are all coming up this week

(The Canadian Press)
‘Worse than Sept. 11, SARS and financial crisis combined’: Tourism industry in crisis

Travel services saw the biggest drop in active businesses with 31 per cent fewer firms operating

Pictures and notes in from friends and classmates make up a memorial in support and memory of Aubrey Berry, 4, and her sister Chloe, 6, during a vigil held at Willows Beach in Oak Bay, B.C., on December 30, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Mother of slain daughters supports recent changes to Canada’s Divorce Act

Sarah Cotton-Elliott said she believed her children took a back seat to arranging equal parenting

Victoria man Brett Andersen is asking for people’s help to secure him one of eight free tickets to the moon. (Screenshot/@brettandersen Instagram)
Victoria man wants your help securing a free ticket to the moon

Japanese billionaire offering eight people a trip to the moon

The Conservation Officers Service is warning aquarium users after invasive and potentially destructive mussels were found in moss balls from a pet store. (BC Conservation Officers Service/Facebook)
Aquarium users in B.C. warned after invasive mussels found at pet store

Conservation officers were told the mussels were found in a moss ball from a Terrace pet store.

Hockey hall-of-fame legend Wayne Gretzky, right, watches the casket of his father, Walter Gretzky, as it is carried from the church during a funeral service in Brantford, Ont., Saturday, March 6, 2021. HE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky remembered as a man with a ‘heart of gold’ at funeral

The famous hockey father died Thursday at age 82 after battling Parkinson’s disease

Donald Alan Sweet was once an all star CFL kicker who played for the Montreal Alouettes and Montreal Concordes over a 13-year career. Photo courtesy of Mission RCMP.
Ex-B.C. teacher who was CFL kicker charged with assault, sexual crimes against former students

Donald Sweet taught in Mission School District for 10 years, investigators seek further witnesses

During a press event on March 6, Const. Alex Berube, media relations officer for the West Shore RCMP, addressed a deadly shooting that occurred in Metchosin the night before. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
VIDEO: One man shot dead on Vancouver Island in ‘targeted incident’

Highway 14 reopens following multi-hour closure for investigation

Most Read