Seated one chair apart during last night’s council meeting, Mayor and Council started the night off with a presentation about Prince George’s response to COVID-19.

Mayor Lyn Hall gave a rundown of the past few weeks following the provincial state of emergency declared on March 11.

Since the declaration, 15-20 major events like the World Women’s Curling Championships, have now been cancelled.

Events in civic facilities have also been cancelled up until May 30, and some are rescheduled for 2021.

The Emergency Operating Committee was also formed March 16, and meets daily.

Council heard that some municipalities have opted to declare local states of emergency, like Vancouver and Prince Rupert, but the administration is recommending to not consider it for Prince George yet.

Administration stressed the need for a coordinated response across the board to “avoid a patchwork”, and that the city’s needs are being met with the provincial order.

City Hall will stay open and Council meetings are scheduled to go forward as planned, for the time being, but staff are looking into the possibility of online meetings in the future.

The presentation also noted staff from different shuttered facilities, like the CN Centre, have been moved into custodial duties.

Overtime pay for senior staff will also be replaced with vacation time.

Councillor Skakun asked the head of the Finance and Audit Committee about the possibility of financial relief for municipal taxes or utilities, however, Councillor Frizzell said the City doesn’t have the power to change dates, but that talks are happening to try to relieve residents.

Mayor Hall finished off his presentation by encouraging the community to check in on seniors in their neighbourhoods.

More information about Prince George’s response to Covid-19 here.

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