Despite all the concerns about COVID-19 it’s business as usual for Kelowna City Council - InfoNews

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Despite all the concerns about COVID-19 it’s business as usual for Kelowna City Council

Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran (left) at last week's outdoor news conference. Stu Leatherdale, Divisional Director of Human Resources (middle) and Jim Gabriel, Divisional Director of Active Living and Culture.
March 23, 2020 - 12:00 PM

The City of Kelowna is not only going about its regular meeting schedule today, March 23, but has added an in-person news conference to the day's agenda as well.

City council held a closed session this morning and Mayor Colin Basran will hold an outdoor news conference at 1 p.m. today, March 23, on the stairs outside city council chambers – before going inside to hold the regularly scheduled 1:30 p.m. Monday afternoon meeting.

Last Tuesday, after rules about social distancing were imposed by provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, Basran called a press conference to announce that 10 city facilities were closing. Media clustered tightly at the foot of the stairs trying to get close enough to record Basran’s comments and take photos.

“I told those gathered to practice social distancing, but no one obeyed me,” Tom Wilson, the city’s communications manager said in an email today. 

When asked why the press conference was being held at a time like this when there is so many video conferencing options, Wilson said they will probably use Zoom next time.

As for the council meeting, he said councillors can attend by video conference and social distancing will be in place with only one staff member in attendance at any one time. 

The 192-page agenda includes 11 development items for things like demolishing a house, rezoning to allow for a liquor store and applications to allow for a 6.5 storey apartment building in the 800 block of Leon Avenue.

Other items include allowing South East Kelowna residents to switch to non-potable water for irrigation and some temporary parking changes.

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