Only eight of the 19 members of the Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen were present at the March 19 board meeting. The regional district has now chosen to close its facilities to the public. Accredited media will be allowed at board meetings. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)

Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen cancels April 2 meeting

Staff working to install videoconferencing system during COVID-19 pandemic

The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen has cancelled its April 2 board meeting as staff at the regional district work to set up a videoconferencing system.

The new system will allow all board members to participate in the meetings electronically, reducing the need to attend in person during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Regional district officials say there was no critically time-sensitive business on the April 2 agenda, so all business will be moved to the April 16 meeting.

READ ALSO: Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen closes its buildings

READ ALSO: Four RDOS staff self-isolating

“Moving these non-essential items to the next meeting provides RDOS staff the time to work on a videoconferencing system,” a regional district news release stated. ”The new system will enable all board members to participate in their meetings electronically, reduce the need to attend in person, and assist in keeping staff and the board safe in the workplace.”

At the last regional district meeting on March 19, only eight of the 19 board members were in the room. The rest had called in to a conference call and were participating remotely.

The new videoconferencing system will also provide access to the public and media, to view the board meeting which will assist the RDOS in their goal of maintaining transparency, inclusivity, and open government during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Bill Newell, chief administrative officer at the regional district, said provincial regulations state that the meetings must be open to those who wish to attend.

At present, the pandemic has resulted in bans on gatherings of more than 50 people and physical distancing of two metres between people. However, local government and regional district board meetings must still be open to those who wish to attend.

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