Comox Mayor Russ Arnott will sit on a policy group in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The group, developed through the Emergency Operations Centre, will be tasked with providing leadership, strategic direction and decision-making on the Emergency Operations Centre policy matters and act as the key communications liaison point between senior government, health officials, the local emergency operation centre and local jurisdictions.
The decision was made as part of the Dec. 16 Comox council meeting.
In a letter to council, acting EOC director Howie Siemens said a major challenge for the centre to respond to the pandemic is that there is no ‘one’ policy group to provide director, policy and decisions. Currently, each chief administrative officer consults with their respective board or council independently, which can lead to lengthy delays in responses.
The leadership group will be comprised of the three mayors of each municipality, the Comox Valley Regional District board chair, the CVRD electoral areas services committee chair, School District 71 chair and the K’ómoks First Nation chief. The group would be supported by the chief administrative officers for each jurisdiction.
Siemens noted the policy group would receive regularly scheduled situation reports and other communications as needed. The CVRD board chair, Jesse Ketler, would continue as the regional EOC spokesperson.