Surrey council chambers, inside city hall. (File photo)

Surrey council chambers, inside city hall. (File photo)

Surrey to return to virtual council meetings as COVID-19 cases continue to rise

Mayor says it’s ‘important’ to ensure the safety of public, staff while making sure business continues

The City of Surrey will temporarily return to virtual council meetings as COVID-19 cases continue to rise in Surrey, and the rest of B.C.

According to a release from the city Wednesday evening (Nov. 18), council approved a motion to conduct meetings virtually, including public hearing items, during a special regular council meeting today.

“With the recent spike of COVID-19 cases in the region, Council felt it was important to ensure the safety of the public and staff while making sure that the business of the City and the ability for the public to participate continue,” said Mayor Doug McCallum.

“Council meetings were conducted virtually this past spring and summer due to the pandemic, and this return to virtual meetings is a temporary, but needed, measure during this aggressive second wave of COVID.”

For public hearing items, people can participate with written submissions or by phone. For those who don’t wish to speak in public, but would like to express their support or opposition, they can call the city’s dedicated phone number (604-591-4132), which will be open between noon and 5 p.m. the day of the council meeting.

To provide written submissions, people can email it clerks@surrey.ca or mail it to Mayor and Council at 13450 – 104 Avenue, Surrey, BC, V3T 1V8. The deadline to receive submissions is by noon on the date of the public hearing.

To speak via telephone during the hearing, people can register between noon and 5 p.m. on the day of the hearing. The submission form will only be available during this time. The form can be found here. Once registered, city staff will contact the registrants before the hearing to provide further information on how to phone in and participate in the meeting.

If people miss this registration period, they can watch the live meeting as there will be an opportunity to call in for a limited period of time. Speakers will be given five minutes for each item they wish to speak to.

The City of Surrey first moved to virtual meetings in April during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

MAP: Surrey’s home to more than 27% of B.C.’s COVID-19 cases, Nov. 15, 2020

READ ALSO: Surrey ‘ground zero’ for COVID-19, but has seen less than half of B.C. deaths: Dix, Nov. 17, 2020



lauren.collins@surreynowleader.com

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