For Immediate Release
Friday, April 3, 2020 - Port Hope, ON
Below is a summary of key items discussed at the Municipality of Port Hope Special Council Meeting held on Thursday, April 2, 2020. The full agenda is available on the Council Portal.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and to maintain continuity of municipal business, Council amended Procedural By-law 49/2015. The amended Procedural By-law now allows for electronic participation at meetings, permits members to participate electronically in both open and closed meetings, and enables Council members participating electronically to count towards meeting quorum.
“Today’s Special Council Meeting was certainly unprecedented in what can only be described as most unusual circumstances,” explains Bob Sanderson, Mayor of the Municipality of Port Hope. “While there are certainly impacts to our community during this pandemic, our goal is to continue our business, operations and services wherever possible. These amendments to our Procedural By-law will allow us to continue to make important municipal decisions and maintain transparency and accountability.”
The amended By-law now includes definitions outlining the principles of an “electronic meeting,” and “electronic participation.” These classifications define the process in which a meeting can be called and held in full or part via electronic means and for Council members to fully participate by electronic means, to move municipal business forward.
On March 17, 2020 the Province of Ontario declared a state of emergency relative to COVID-19 in accordance with the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act. This declaration has been extended to April 14, and it is anticipated that it will be extended further in order to continue exercising all authority available and required to reduce the spread of COVID-19. While under this state of emergency order from the Province, the Municipality is now prepared to conduct regular Council and Committee of the Whole Meetings via electronic means until further notice.
Minutes from this meeting will be available pending approval at the next Council meeting, to be held electronically on Tuesday, April 7, 2020, at which point they will become the official record of the meeting.
A recording of the Special Council Meeting of April 2, 2020 is available at porthope.ca/council-communications.
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For more information, please contact:
Kate Ingram, Communications / Community Engagement Coordinator
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