Public participation at hearings to resume in Chilliwack but in a new way. (City of Chilliwack)

Public participation is coming back to Chilliwack council meetings

City of Chilliwack will use Zoom video conferencing to allow the public to make presentations

Public participation is coming back to Chilliwack council meetings.

A new public hearing process was approved this week by Chilliwack city council to allow members of the public to be heard through the video conferencing platform Zoom.

“It is important for us to find ways to safely continue the business of the city as we establish our new normal here in Chilliwack,” said Mayor Ken Popove. “Many people rely on development for employment, and while this new process will be an adjustment, I am hopeful residents and developers will be patient and learn with us.”

Council meetings were closed to the public in March to prevent large gatherings and promote social distancing, which also shut down the public’s ability to make presentations or participate in person at city hall.

It was a ministerial order by the B.C. Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, Mike Farnworth, under the State of Emergency in B.C., that cleared the way for municipalities to conduct public hearings by means of electronic or other communication tools.

The new process for hearings will come into effect at the June 16 meeting.

Anyone who deems their interest in the property affected by proposed amendment bylaws on an upcoming meeting agenda will have an opportunity to be heard.

People can participate by mail, email, or live during a Zoom meeting. Anyone who wishes to participate is asked to call the clerk’s department to register once the hearing starts. Each person will be allowed to make one presentation per public hearing and will be given 15 minutes to speak.

READ MORE: Public hearings were shut down by mid-March

READ MORE: Playgrounds were closed in March

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