“We look forward to welcoming the public back into Council Chambers in a phased approach. Our virtual meetings allowed Council to continue to conduct the business of the city, without skipping a beat when the pandemic hit — while maintaining public transparency, accountability and input. Many residents told us they preferred the flexibility of virtual meetings, and we saw the highest numbers of delegates on record for some of our meetings. So, we will continue to provide a hybrid option — letting residents choose whether to attend in person or online.” – Burlington Mayor Marianne Meed Ward
*Please see below a news release issued by the City of Burlington.
Burlington, Ont. — March 23, 2022 — Burlington City Council will be implementing hybrid Council meetings. In the hybrid model, members of Council, senior City staff and members of the public have the option to participate in Council meetings in-person at Council Chambers in City Hall at 426 Brant St. or remotely.
The move to hybrid Council meetings will be phased in. The first hybrid meeting will be the Environment, Infrastructure and Community Services (EICS) Committee meeting taking place on April 7, 2022. This will be for members of Council and senior City staff only. Following this, the Council meeting on April 19 will have the option for Council, senior staff and delegations, only, to be present in Council Chambers. Starting in May, the standing committees and Council meetings will be open to Council, senior staff, delegations and the public to attend in person.
City Council and committee meetings have been held exclusively virtually for the past two years since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Health and safety
To ensure the health of safety of participants attending hybrid council meetings in person:
- members of Council will be physically distanced in Council Chambers around the Council desk;
- plexiglass barriers have been installed between participants sitting around the Council desk and in front of the delegate’s podium;
- masking will be encouraged for individuals in Council Chambers when they are not speaking; and
- after each meeting, all Council Chambers equipment and surfaces will be disinfected.
Delegations from members of the public
Under the hybrid model, members of the public have the option to delegate in-person in Council Chambers or remotely. Council Chambers will be configured to ensure all participants have an equitable and seamless meeting experience. Delegates are not required to show proof of vaccination against COVID-19 to delegate in person. Those wishing to speak at an upcoming meeting must register by noon the business day before the meeting at burlington.ca/delegate
Members of the public can continue to access a live stream of Council and committee meetings from wherever they are by visiting burlington.ca and selecting the “Live Stream” icon.
“The City is fully committed to transparency and open public meetings and recognizes the desire to balance a return to safe, in-person public meetings, and the opportunity to engage with Council virtually. This hybrid meeting format allows for both options, so that all participants have a seamless meeting experience.” – Kevin Arjoon, City Clerk, City of Burlington
- A strategy for resuming in-person advisory committee meetings will be reviewed at a later date and will be based on findings and lessons learned from the hybrid City Council meetings.
- The City will continue to monitor the situation with COVID-19 and follow the guidance provided by public health and the Province of Ontario. In the event of any changes made by the Province of Ontario to current COVID-19 public health measures, changes to the hybrid council meeting model may be introduced.
- Residents delegating in person are reminded the main floor of City Hall is currently undergoing construction as part of the City Hall Modernization project. Please use the Brant Street entrance to access City Hall and take the elevator in the lobby to reach the second floor where Council Chambers is located.
RELATED LINKS & RESOURCES:
- To view Council meeting agendas, minutes and upcoming dates, visit burlington.ca/calendar
- To register as a delegate to speak at a Council or committee meeting, visit burlington.ca/delegate
- City of Burlington Repeals Emergency Declaration & Mask & Physical Distancing Bylaws Effective Immediately
*Posted by John Bkila, Mayor’s Media and Digital Communications Specialist