North Cowichan Council has decided to stop reading the public input at the beginning of Council Meetings.
Pre-Covid, the public input section offered the public five 3 minute speaking spots.
Since March, the Council Meetings have been moved online and the public input has been read out in their entirety or paraphrased (longer letters) by staff to the Mayor and Council.
The public can hear these public input submissions by watching the online Council meeting or viewing the archived meeting videos.
The public input is where you are going to hear things that you might not hear from staff, contradict staff or bring important information to the table.
As of the last Council meeting, the public input is no longer read out, and staff just gives us the count of emails received on each topic.
The emails are still forwarded to the Mayor and Council but not read out in public.
The reason given for this change is that they are receiving too many emails and it would take too long to read them out in the meeting.
Pre-Covid they allowed for 15 minutes of public input ... now there is none.
At the September 16 Council Meeting they read out 23 public submissions and it took 13 minutes.
At the October 7th meeting they received 14 submissions and decided it was too much to read them out.
83% of these emails were related to the forestry review and the climate action plan update.