After more than a year, open forums return to Saanich committee of the whole meetings on April 19, using a phone-in model.
The public input at committee meetings was suspended in March 2020, after the province declared a state of emergency in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. At the time, other in-person meetings – including public hearings and advisory committees – were also cancelled. Those resumed in May 2020 using a phone-in model.
On Jan. 25, Saanich opted to continue conducting meetings without the public present until April 30 and instead have residents continue participating by phone and livestream.
At the time, council also directed staff to look at options for bringing back open forums with virtual adaptations to increase opportunities for public input.
In a report to council, Angila Bains, manager of legislative services and municipal clerk, recommended the return of the open forum where 15 minutes is allotted in the agenda for up to five residents to speak for up to three minutes each.
Those wishing to speak via telephone at open forum must pre-register by calling 250-475-5510 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org before noon on the day of the meeting.