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Conduct of Mountain View County council meetings update considered

Robert's Rules would be followed at Mountain View County council meetings instead of Bourinots

MOUNTAIN VIEW COUNTY - County council has considered proposed updates to the municipality’s procedure and conduct of meeting bylaw No. 07/23 to allow meetings to be held by electronic means, including a provision allowing members of the public to utilize video conferencing software to make submissions.

During the pandemic, councils were permitted to have meetings held by electronic means such as Zoom under a provincial ministerial regulation.

After the provincial regulation was removed, the Municipal Government Act was expanded to grant municipalities the ability to continue the procedure through bylaw.

The county’s governance review committee reviewed the bylaw and recommended two changes.

A proposed new section to the bylaw, entitled Meeting by Electronic Means, reads, in part: “Council has authorized for meetings for council to be held by electronic means through the use of online video conferencing software. This authorization shall also permit councillors to participate by electronic means if they are unable to attend a council meeting that is scheduled to be held in person.

“Councillors meeting via electronic means shall be required to confirm their identity, by use of their video, prior to the commencement of the meeting but shall be permitted to turn their video off following confirmation in the event of poor internet connectivity.

“Members of the public, when permitted to make submissions in accordance with this bylaw, may utilize the video conferencing software to make applicable submissions.”

The proposed updated bylaw also states that in the event a meeting held by electronic means, the agenda and any other documentation that is required to be made publicly available will be provided on the Mountain View County corporate website.

The second recommendation from the review committee was for the county to rely on Robert’s Rules of Order instead of Bourinots Rules of Order in the event the procedural bylaw is silent on a procedural matter.

Councillors carried a motion instructing administration to come back with information on the possibility of public question and answer sessions being added to future council agendas.

Council passed first and second reading of the proposed updated Bylaw No. 07/23, with third reading expected to come back to an upcoming council meeting.

Reeve Angela Aalbers and all councillors attended the recent council meeting, held in person and online.

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