Thinking outside council chambers: Kelowna to hold council meeting at UBCO | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Thinking outside council chambers: Kelowna to hold council meeting at UBCO

September 13, 2019 - 10:15 AM

KELOWNA - Kelowna city councillors plan to exit their comfort zone in November and hold a council meeting at the UBC Okanagan campus.

While public hearings have been held in other venues in the past, on Nov. 18 it will be the first time the current city council will meet away from the council chambers in downtown Kelowna for its regular Monday afternoon meeting.

The idea arose during a conversation Mayor Colin Basran had with UBCO president Deborah Buszard.

“In my time as Mayor, I’ve been interested in ways that we could, perhaps, move council meetings to different locations just to be more accessible and maybe open our meetings up to an audience that otherwise wouldn’t have access to our meetings,” Basran told

The UBCO campus seemed an ideal place to try it out because of new audio and visual equipment there that could help broadcast the meeting around the campus and possibly beyond, he said.

It begs the question, would city council consider holding its weekly Monday afternoon meetings in other parts of the city?

“Possibly,” Basran said. “If this is a trial, I guess we’ll see how it goes and if it goes well and it’s not too onerous perhaps we could see council meetings held – I wouldn’t say regularly – but on certain one-off occasions in different parts of the community if it’s possible via technology and accessibility and a number of different factors, yes, it’s possible.”

Given that Rutland residents launched a massive petition campaign this summer that gathered 13,000 signatures from Kelowna residents opposed to a supportive housing project, Basran was asked if a council meeting might be held in Rutland.

“Yup, potentially,” he responded.

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