After decades of Monday council meetings, starting in 2023 Courtenay council will convene on Wednesdays.
The shift in regular meeting days will reduce schedule impacts from statutory holidays, and give the public more time to review meeting agendas and reports – an average of seven days, instead of the current five. Agendas will continue to be posted on the city website on the Thursday prior to a council meeting.
Mayor Bob Wells said the changes will make council meetings more consistent.
“With most statutory holidays falling on Mondays, moving our council meetings to Wednesdays makes a lot of sense,” said Wells. “And with the variety and volume of reports in our agendas, especially for more complex technical information, this change will give the city more time to raise awareness within the community about what we’re working on before these items are considered by Ccouncil.”
Council also directed staff to make several amendments to the Council Procedure Bylaw. The bylaw updates will incorporate electronic participation options launched during the pandemic through new authority granted by the province; initially by ministerial order, and now formalized in the B.C. Community Charter. Other bylaw updates will clarify guidelines for eligible council delegations, eliminate exclusive gender binary language, amend council meeting calendar and logistics planning processes, and change the adjournment time from midnight to 9 p.m. unless an extension is supported by a two‐third vote of council members present.
“It’s been about nine years since the Council Procedure Bylaw was substantially updated, and a lot has changed since then – for example, we’ve moved our meetings to the CVRD Civic Room to accommodate more audience members, and we rapidly adopted electronic participation during the pandemic, which has made our meetings much more accessible,” said Wells. “These amendments to the bylaw will decrease barriers to participation by clarifying our procedures, making electronic participation permanent, and enhancing access to information.”
The updated bylaw will come back to council for consideration in the new year.
All council meetings take place in the Comox Valley Regional District (CVRD) Civic Room at 770 Harmston Ave. unless otherwise posted. Meetings are live-streamed on the City of Courtenay YouTube channel.
To view the schedule for upcoming Council meetings and Public Hearings, along with agendas, minutes, and video of past meetings, visit www.courtenay.ca/councilmeetings