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Niagara Falls
Tuesday, June 18, 2024
Councillors not ready to resumein-person meetings yet

With second wave of COVID-19 looming, virtual meetings will continue for NOTL officials


Niagara-on-the-Lake councillors aren't ready to head back to the council chambers just yet.

Lord Mayor Betty Disero addressed the issue Monday night during a virtual committee of the whole meeting, saying there's been a “push” for councillors to get back to in-person meetings.

She presented a number of options, having looked at what some other municipalities are doing. Alternatives include having councillors wear masks and having them spread out more by using audience seats and moving to the podium to speak.

However, there was no appetite for that just yet, even from Coun. Gary Burroughs, who has been vocal about wanting to get back in the chamber as early as possible.

Coun. Allan Bisback said with a second wave of COVID-19 looming as cases rise across the country, he would like to hold off.

“I think the technology is working for us. My personal view would be to wait for at least another month,” he told fellow councillors.

“I agree with councillor Bisback and I've been a proponent of getting back as fast as we can but the options that I heard tonight aren't really the options that I was looking at so I'm quite pleased that we're not opening in September,” Burroughs said.

Coun. Clare Cameron also echoed Bisback's statements.

“I'm in no rush,” she said, noting she thinks virtual meetings have been working well.

“I think everybody is in a sort of wait-and-see mode and I'm also in no rush to ask staff to come back to chambers or to expect staff to come back to town hall, so I'm happy to stay where we're at, at least for the next few months.”

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