The message this week has been clearly delivered by both federal and provincial health officials: the time for social distancing is now. As a result, the March RDEK public hearings and community meetings have been postponed and a new approach is being planned for the April Board Meetings.

“I cannot stress enough the importance of listening to the public and federal health authorities. Each of us needs to be doing our part. This is not just about protecting ourselves and our communities, it’s about protecting our health care system so it is available for those who need it most,” says RDEK Board Chair Rob Gay.

To that end, the RDEK has postponed all of its scheduled public hearings for March until further notice. The upcoming Columbia Basin Trust public input meetings have been cancelled and the RDEK will be launching an online comment forum on engage.rdek.bc.ca/cbt on March 25th to collect public input through Noon on April 8th. Those without access to computers can contact the RDEK office to request a list of proposals and get information on how they can submit comments.

The RDEK’s April Board Meeting will proceed as planned; however, there will be different options available to encourage social distancing. “We have encouraged board directors to participate in the board and committee meetings via teleconference. At the same time, we are looking at options to allow the public to view or listen to the proceedings from the comfort of their homes,” explains Gay. “Under the Local Government Act, we are required to have the ability for the public to attend as well. While we encourage the public to take advantage of the other participation options, if anyone chooses to attend in person, we will have social distancing measures in place within our board room.”

Details are available on the RDEK’s webpage on both the meetings and emergency information pages. The status of future meetings will be evaluated on an ongoing basis and updated as required.

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