Campbell River Mayor Andy Adams opened an extraordinary council meeting Monday night that was closed to the public and saw fewer councillors in the chamber with the mayor himself practising social-distancing by appearing on video.
With Coun. Kermit Dahl in the mayor’s chair, he turned it over to Adams who delivered the following statement:
“I want to open tonight’s Council meeting with an urgent reminder about our shared responsibility in the face of the coronavirus.
“First, you’ll see far fewer faces in Campbell River City Council Chambers tonight due to the necessity to close facilities and practice social distancing to slow and limit the spread of COVID-19.
“Plain and simple, this is an urgent situation – and we must all act on the precautionary measures as directed by the federal and provincial government. To stay as healthy as possible. To stay home as much as possible. To support each other – and stay connected – as safely as possible.
“Council extends praise and gratitude to the people who have acted quickly to follow these public health directives.
“And we certainly appreciate the efforts of everyone who is trying to help get the word out about the importance of taking protective action now, for the future benefit of our loved ones and the entire community.
“We recognize that the public health directives to limit in-person contact cause distress and greatly affect community life.
“This disrupts people’s connections with family, friends and neighbours. It puts a huge strain on local businesses.
“And, we must all recognize the impact of our actions on our healthcare workers and the ability of local medical services to meet the demand for care.
“We extend our heartfelt thanks to everyone working on the front lines. So many people are working and volunteering to help us cope and stay strong during this outbreak.
“To those of you actively helping this way – for the greater good – we applaud you all.
“We have heard from many of you about how concerned you are. We share that concern.
“We must all assume that COVID-19 is in our community. And we must all take all possible precautions.
“To help keep our community healthy and strong, City services are changing as required.
‘This is an evolving situation. We’ve made a lot of changes already, and are still working our way through others.
“Although most of our facilities are now closed to the public, where it is safe to do so, City employees continue to provide community services.
“We’re posting updates on a dedicated page on the City website at campbellriver.ca/COVID-19
“For general City services questions, we have set up a call centre at 250-286-4033.
“You can also email email@example.com
“Tonight’s meeting will deal with urgent business in response to COVID-19, including a bylaw amendment to permit electronic attendance for all members of Council at future meetings.
“We are also actively lobbying the provincial government, and, daily, we receive updates about how they’re working to help support communities in British Columbia.
“In closing, I remind you that this is a time for everyone to pull in the same direction. We must all do our best to help. We must all be responsible. And be kind. Be respectful. Be safe. And be well.”
More on the meeting to come…
EDITOR’S NOTE: The Campbell River Mirror will continue to cover City Council business but did not have a representative at the meeting in-person, choosing to practice social distancing. We will use the recorded video of the proceedings to follow the business of the meeting. Anyone can access the web-based archived recordings of council meetings at the City of Campbell River’s website www.campbellriver.ca.