Telkwa struggles with business of governing due to pandemic

Last two regular council meetings have been difficult for both councillors and public to participate

The Village of Telkwa has been struggling to hold regular council meetings during the pandemic.

On March 24 the regularly scheduled meeting was closed to the public to help stop the spread of COVID-19 and abide by social distancing rules but was supposed to be live streamed on to the Village’s Facebook page. However, due to technical difficulties it was not at the last minute. The meeting went ahead without allowing the public to listen in or view it.

Then, for the next meeting on April 14, the Village tried to stream the meeting via a different video conferencing app. It was supposed to start at 7 p.m., but council members had a hard time logging in and it didn’t start until half an hour later. Audio issues plagued the meeting and it was difficult to hear most of it. Mayor Brad Layton was not on the call because he was sick.

Deputy Mayor Annette Morgan chaired the meeting.

“I recognize there are challenges with technology and wifi but at the end of the day it is important that we get the business done and catch up with technology later, but we need to look at different options because this phone system is certainly not working,” she said. “I attend a lot of calls throughout the week by teleconference and I can barely hear a thing that is going on [at this meeting.]”

Councillor Leroy Dekens, who gave up trying to call into the meeting and came down to the council chambers to participate in person, agreed with Morgan and suggested using a large place where social distancing could occur.

In an email to The Interior News later in the week CAO Debbie Joujan said the Village continues to make best efforts at keeping up to date on the ever-changing circumstances and information during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Due to the difficulties experienced at Tuesday night’s electronic meeting, the Village plans to hold the April 28th Regular Meeting of Council in a larger area of the municipal building in order to accommodate social distancing for Council, staff, and the public. Alternate electronic meeting options will continue to be explored,” she wrote.

The Village office remains closed and there is a drop box setup for documents to be picked up and dropped off. Most staff are currently working at the office during regular business hours but practising social distancing.

The Village bylaw enforcement officer continues in an expanded role (by Ministerial Order) to inform, advise, and/or warn the public if they are congregating, gathering in groups, or otherwise observed to be in violation of social distancing restrictions and/or facility closures within the Village. He will advise the public that they could face steep fines and/or jail time for non-compliance. His role does not include enforcement of restrictions at this time. Enforcement continues to be the responsibility of the RCMP and/or health officers.


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Thursday’s blackout likely caused by vandalism

Power was out for 10,000 customers from Quick to the Hazeltons for almost 11 hours

VIDEO: Witset cannabis shop officially opens

The store, located at the gas bar on Hwy 16, is open seven days a week, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Police investigate July 2 homicide in Houston

Man succumbed to injuries at Pearson Road residence

Tahltan fighter from Telkwa wins provincial award

Lando Ball recognized for his commitment to and accomplishments in karate and for community service

RCMP patrol of smokehouse sparks concerns by Wet’suwet’en hereditary leader

Hereditary Chief Woos says he is feeling uneasy after RCMP attended the smokehouse with rifles

13 new B.C. COVID-19 cases, Langley Lodge outbreak ends

Health care outbreaks down to four, 162 cases active

B.C. teacher loses licence after sexual relationships with two recently-graduated students

The teacher won’t be allowed to apply for a teaching certificate until 2035

White-throated sparrows have changed their tune, B.C. study unveils

Study marks an unprecedented development scientists say has caused them to sit up and take note

Alberta health minister orders review into response after noose found in hospital in 2016

A piece of rope tied into a noose was found taped to the door of an operating room at the Grande Prairie Hospital in 2016

B.C.’s major rivers surge, sparking flood warnings

A persistent low pressure system over Alberta has led to several days of heavy rain

B.C.’s Indigenous rights law faces 2020 implementation deadline

Pipeline projects carry on as B.C. works on UN goals

‘Mind boggling’: B.C. man $1 million richer after winning Lotto 6/49 a second time

David O’Brien hopes to use his winnings to travel and of course keep playing the lottery

Community infrastructure funding announced for 24 Northern B.C. projects

Recipients include municipalities, First Nations and not-for-profits

Most Read