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Scugog Township upgrading Council meetings

COURTNEY McCLURE, for The Standard

SCUGOG: The public will be able to view council meetings via live stream through Escribe, on the Township’s website.

However if members of the public would like to participate during a council meeting, they must attend the meetings in-person.

“We are hoping to offer an online participation option for delegates,” explained the director of corporate services/municipal clerk, Becky Jamieson. However, she said she cannot confirm if that will be for the Council meeting on March 28th.

Currently, the Township of Scugog is upgrading their technology. These changes are expected to be completed around May or June of this year.

Ms. Jamieson explained she does not know if these technological advancements will include online participation.

Members do not have to be vaccinated to attend in-person council meetings.

“We are working on the protocols and procedures that will be in place,” stated Ms. Jamieson. Furthermore, council members and Township staff will have plexiglass placed between each of them. This will allow council members and staff to remove their masks while seated.

All other participants and attendees must wear their masks at all times.

The legislative requirements are being reviewed, and additional safety protocols will be added where the Township sees fit, in advance of the first in-person meeting.

If a council member cannot attend, they are allowed to participate in the meeting virtually.

According to Ms. Jamieson, in 2021, a staff report was brought forward as a “result of Bill 197.” Bill 197 (COVID-19 Economic Recovery Act, 2020) provided amendments to the Municipal Act. These amendments included allowing members of municipal councils to participate online if needed.

If you’re interested in viewing this report, it’s available on the Township of Scugog website.

Council approved recommendations from Township staff, allowing other council members to participate online.

“This is a significant step in the reopening of our municipality,” said Ms. Jamieson. “As we move forward and our technology is upgraded, we hope to provide multiple opportunities for public engagement, be it in person or via online options.”

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