Letter to City Council: Changes to Meeting Schedules – Public Hearings during COVID-19 Emergency (for 14-Apr-2020 meeting)

The following letter went to Vancouver City Council on April 13, 2020 in reference to a Council meeting scheduled for April 14.

April 13, 2020
City of Vancouver Council

Dear Mayor Kennedy Stewart and Councillors,

Re: Changes to Meeting Schedules – Public Hearings during COVID-19 Emergency

April 14 Council Item 1.: https://council.vancouver.ca/20200414/documents/comm1.pdf

The Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods (CVN) recognizes the need for emergency powers to deal effectively with the COVID-19 emergency. City Council meetings are currently being convened electronically to enable appropriate physical distancing. Options for public participation are being considered. We have stated our concerns regarding these issues in an earlier letter (April 5/20).
CVN letter April 5, 2020: https://coalitionvan.org/posts/cvn-letter-5-april-2020/

The April 14 Meeting Agenda, Item 1, Changes to 2020 Council Meetings Schedule,
proposes the first electronic Public Hearing for May 5, during the COVID-19 pandemic. As the questions posed by ourselves and other citizens have yet to be answered, and public participation is highly problematic (see earlier CVN letter sent today, Apr.13), we would urge Council not to approve this change and to instead not schedule any Public Hearings until restrictions on public assembly are lifted.

Thank you,

Larry Benge, Dorothy Barkley

On behalf of the Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods

Member Groups of the Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods

Arbutus Ridge Community Association
Arbutus Ridge/ Kerrisdale/ Shaughnessy Visions
Cedar Cottage Area Neighbours
Downtown Eastside Neighbourhood Council
Dunbar Residents Association
Fairview/South Granville Action Committee
False Creek Residents Association
Grandview Woodland Area Council
Granville-Burrard Residents & Business Assoc.
Greater Yaletown Community Association
Joyce Area Residents
Kitsilano-Arbutus Residents Association
Kits Point Residents Association
Marpole Residents Coalition
Norquay Residents
NW Point Grey Home Owners Association
Oakridge Langara Area Residents
Residents Association Mount Pleasant
Riley Park/South Cambie Visions
Shaughnessy Heights Property Owners Association
Strathcona Residents Association
Upper Kitsilano Residents Association
West End Neighbours Society
West Kitsilano Residents Association
West Point Grey Residents Association