Nanaimo city councillors at Monday’s meeting at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre. Council voted unanimously to postpone all committee meetings for the time being. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)

City of Nanaimo postpones all committee meetings as COVID-19 precaution

Only council meetings will continue for the time being

City business won’t stop, but certain committee work is being put off.

Nanaimo city council, at their meeting Monday night, voted unanimously to postpone all committee meetings, including finance and audit committee and governance and priorities committee.

Agenda items slated to come before the finance and audit committee this coming Wednesday, March 18, will now go straight to a special council meeting that day.

“It’s really pivoting and focusing everything on the council level at this time,” said Jake Rudolph, the city’s chief administrative officer.

Mayor Leonard Krog said the city sees postponing committees as a necessary move in order to protect public health and safety, and said council will be prepared to take other measures as needed to ensure that governance continues amid strengthened COVID-19 precautions.

READ ALSO: City of Nanaimo says it’s stepping up its COVID-19 response

“I think we’re dealing with quite an unforeseen and unpredicted circumstance with no known end date and the impacts are also unknown,” said Coun. Tyler Brown. “The more we get ahead of it while resources are being redeployed within the organization – also [with] the unknown impacts upon the organization – it just makes sense to streamline some of these items while minimizing social contact.”

Earlier Monday, the city closed all recreation centres, pools and arenas and was developing plans to limit public access to fire stations and the RCMP detachment. Rudolph said additional measures are being discussed.

“We are now contemplating the staffing and service delivery issues and maintaining those in any scenario that may unfold over the coming days and weeks,” he said. “We need to maintain staffing levels, we need to have protocols in place that minimize unnecessary meetings between and within staff groups and between the organization and those that are dealing with the organization.

“It [doesn’t mean] we’re shutting down business, it means that we have to think of telephone calls, virtual meetings and those kinds of things.”

READ ALSO: Stay informed about COVID-19

READ ALSO: B.C. bans all gatherings of 50+ people to slow COVID-19 transmission

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