|New Evening Meeting Location and Earlier Start Times for City Council Meetings||September 29, 2021|
Chilliwack, BC: Changes are coming to City Council meetings this October in order to provide members of the public with improved opportunities to participate in public hearings.
As with many other municipalities, the City of Chilliwack has experienced an increase in public participation, often causing public hearings to run late into the evening, which can pose a barrier to public participation. At the September 21, 2021 Council Meeting, Council adopted amendments to the City’s Procedural Bylaw and Public Hearing/Public Information Meeting Procedural Bylaw to allow changes to the start times of Council meetings. Starting on October 5, 2021, the regular afternoon meetings of Council will begin at 2 pm, and the regular evening meetings / public hearings will begin at 6 pm.
As part of those changes, the option to attend the October 5, 2021 Council meeting and public hearing in-person is available. Due to the new health orders announced for the eastern Fraser Valley region on September 28, 2021, in-person participation options will be re-evaluated after the next meeting and more information about how to participate in future meetings will be shared in upcoming meeting notices. However, virtual participation will continue to be an option for public hearing participation until further notice and is highly recommended. For instructions on how to participate virtually, visit chilliwack.com/PH.
As the option to attend the Council meeting and public hearing in-person is available on October 5, it is necessary to temporarily change the location of the evening meeting in order to address public safety concerns. Due to physical distancing measures and capacity limits required during the COVID-19 pandemic, the evening portion of the Regular Council meeting will be held at the Chilliwack Cultural Centre (9201 Corbould Street) at 6 pm. The afternoon meeting will be held in Council Chambers, at the new start time of 2 pm. All regular meetings of Council are live streamed and can be viewed online at chilliwack.com/live.
In keeping with provincial health orders, face masks will be required at all City facilities. Residents are asked to practice physical distancing and to stay home if they feel unwell. Virtual participation is highly recommended.
“Keeping everyone safe while we make sure the business of the City continues to move forward is critical,” said Mayor Popove. “We hope members of the public will continue to participate in the way that feels safest for them and we look forward to the day when we can all meet in person again without restrictions.”
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