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Thursday, March 26, 2020

Owen Sound Council Changes Procedural By-Law To Allow Remote Meetings

Owen Sound | by Matt Hermiz  

Mayor expects council will have its next regular meeting April 6, with two councillors present and the rest voting remotely.

Owen Sound council has approved changes to the city's procedural by-law to allow future meetings to be held without physical quorum during emergency situations.

Mayor Ian Boddy chaired the special meeting at City Hall Wednesday, while just two city councillors sitting at opposite ends of the room, Travis Dodd and Scott Greig, were on hand while others dialed in to make the by-law change.

The Ontario government recently passed emergency legislation to allow municipal councils to hold electronic or remote meetings during the COVID-19 situation. 

Owen Sound Mayor Ian Boddy says the plan for now is to have two councillors attend future city council meetings in-person, while the rest attend remotely.

"We're hoping to get back on track with our next meeting on the regular scheduled time of April 6," Boddy says. "But, we will have a reduced agenda that will be very focused on what we have to pass. Everything else will be on hold for now."

Committee meetings remain postponed until further notice. A city staff report explains the change in procedure will not apply to city committees, as council is the "ultimate decision maker" and resources are limited currently.

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