Following a weekend of Facebook posts from Prince Rupert Mayor Lee Brain, the stage is set for a most unusual City Council session for tonight, with much anticipation of a shoe to drop when it comes to Civic measures in response to the COVID-19 situation.
Over the course of three days, Mayor Brain hinted towards plans to declare a local State of Emergency, announcing through his social media platform on Sunday that he would bring such a motion to Council tonight.
Whether the Council membership will be in attendance or participating by way of other electronic measures won't be known until the 7PM start, but when it does begin, the meeting may be like no other in recent history for the community.
There is an actual Agenda in place for the night, and the notice of motion of the Local State of Emergency isn't on the current version posted to the City Website.
However with Mr. Brain having already telegraphed the major talking point on the night, it would seem that the prospect of the three items listed for the night will make for quick work before Council addresses the main item for attention.
The Budget Presentation process will most likely make for a reduced portion of the night, and as we outlined on Sunday, the city is now encouraging members of the public to use alternative methods to share their observations.
As part of the revised public engagement process the city has suggested that anyone with items of interest towards the Financial plan for 2020 to direct them in writing to the City's Chief Financial Officer, or to make use of the Rupert Talks community engagement page on the city website.
The other items of note are two Development Variance issues that will make for the remainder of the Agenda listings for the night.
As it is a last meeting of the month, tonight's session was supposed to be a Committee of the Whole session, where normally there would have been a public comment period set aside for the night.
However Council cancelled the Committee of the Whole last week and as part of the City's Statement of Saturday issued a notice towards tonights gathering.
Any person who violates the Provincial Order for social distancing or acting improperly will be expelled from the meeting.
Towards the goal of social distancing, those with an interest in tonight's council session can view the Live Feed from the City website.
Council members will also meet in a Closed Session at 5 PM, citing two items from the Community Charter as the reason to exclude the public.
90.1 (e) the acquisition, disposition or expropriation of land or improvements, if the council considers that disclosure could reasonably be expected to harm the interests of the municipality
(k) negotiations and related discussions respecting the proposed provision of a municipal service that are at their preliminary stages and that, in the view of the council, could reasonably be expected to harm the interests of the municipality if they were held in public.
You can review the short notes of the Agenda Package for tonight here.
REGULAR SESSION OF CITY COUNCIL
Adoption of Agenda and Past minutes -- Mayor Brain will review the agenda for the evening and Council will adopt the minutes of past meetings.
Reports and Recommendations
Report from the City Planner related to a Development Variance Permit Application for a property on Eighth Avenue East (See page 5 of the Agenda)
Report from the City Planner related to a Development Variance Permit Application for a property on Jamaica Avenue (See page 16 of the Agenda)
The evening will come to an end with any Additional Items as well as Reports, Questions and Inquiries from Members of Council.
The Live broadcast of the City Council session can be found here, a video archive of past sessions is available here.
Our items of note related to the March 23rd session can be viewed here.
While our archive of all sessions for 2020 for Council is available here.
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