January 20 LTC meeting report

This is my recollection and understanding of the meeting. You can wait for the minutes or check out the video and audio recording of the meeting.

There was a bit of delay in starting the meeting until the Live Streaming was started. This will, in a few days, turn into a video and audio record of the meeting, available on the meeting information page  https://islandstrust.bc.ca/event/lasqueti-island-local-trust-committee-special-meeting-2/

I was at the Health Centre so that people who do not have internet access could attend there. I realize I announced this on the Lasqueti email list, in in future, for electronic meetings when they are scheduled, I’ll try to get the announcement into the Lasqueti Local, so that people who don’t subscribe to the email list can know about this, too.

One person who told me that they would attend at the Health Centre did not show up. One person who I told I would be there did turn up, but when they learned that it would be audio only (as the meeting room screen is not there), left in a huff.  I have no idea how many people, if any, watched the live stream. I’ll ask if this is known.

All three current trustees think it is best if our Lasqueti Trust Committee meetings are held, live and in person on Lasqueti. The Islands Trust is being cautious about travel to island communities, and encouraging gatherings of people in meeting rooms.

Until a short while ago, special BC regulations allowed local government to meet electronically, so they could conduct business safely and “in public” electronically.  Recently these special regulations were rescinded, and the government made it possible for local governments to change its Meeting Procedures bylaws to allow electronic meetings. Allowing electronic meetings doesn’t mean that they will all be held electronically. It just means that they could be.

At today’s meeting, we gave first, second and third readings to a new Lasqueti Meeting Procedure Bylaw. It allows all our meetings to be held electronically.

Last year, when we were holding electronic meetings, interested people were able to attend the meeting via the Zoom service that the Trust pays for. Attendees were able to participate in Town Halls, and to see and hear the meetings if they were connecting via the internet. They could also hear the meetings by phone, without long distance charges. Managing these meetings took a staff person, and their regular work fell behind and suffered from all the meetings they needed to attend to.

Now, the Islands Trust Council, Executive Committee, and the three standing (Financial Planning, Regional Planning and Trust Programs) Committees and the Select Committee on Governance and Management Review) continue to use these Zoom services. Local Trust Committees do not, and are not able to until Trust Council authorizes hiring a staff member to manage the Zoom meetings.  Until then, or there is a break in this impasse, electronic Local Trust Committee meetings are available only over the internet in a one-way Live Stream, with no possibility of the public participating, and no Town Hall sessions.

Our next scheduled LTC meeting is on February 7. If the Executive Committee approves our new Meeting Procedure Bylaw at their February 2 meeting , and if we adopt it by Resolution Without Meeting, our February meeting could be electronic, or it might (either because we choose, or because we don’t have a new Meeting Procedures Bylaw in place, held in person at the Health Centre.

I'm happy to receive questions or comments.   pjohnston [at] islandstrust [dot] bc [dot] ca