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Gibsons resumes in person council meetings June 7

May 17 council meeting also highlighted election bylaw changes and Pride Month declaration.
Gibsons Municipal Hall

The next scheduled meeting of Gibsons council will be the first such session open to in person attendance at Town hall since the COVID-19 pandemic closure in March 2020. Mayor Bill Beamish made the announcement during council’s May 17 meeting hosted virtually on the Zoom platform. The upcoming event, scheduled for 7 p.m. on June 7, is slated to include a delegation from the Coast’s syíyáyá Reconciliation Movement Project. 

Beamish noted that plans are for the next council meeting to be available only through in-person attendance. He said staff are working on technical details to allow the meeting to be a hybrid in-person and virtual event, but those have not yet been finalized. It is anticipated that if a hybrid event is not possible, a recording of the meeting proceedings would be posted to the Town’s YouTube channel after adjournment.

Old election bylaw out, new one introduced

The town took steps to ready itself for the 2022 local government elections by repealing its election bylaw from 2011 and giving a new version three readings at the meeting. 

Manager of corporate and legislative services, Tracey Hincks, walked attendees through the updates made, including the dates of Oct. 15 as general voting day and advance polling dates of Oct. 5 and 12. 

Also new in 2022 will be provisions making mail-in ballots available to all voters. The former practice of special voting opportunities at residential care homes will be replaced by the mail-in ballot procedure, in the interest of protecting the health of voters and elections staff. More clarity around election sign regulations is also part of the updated bylaw, which requires adoption in advance of July 4.

June is Pride Month

June officially became Sunshine Coast Pride month in Gibsons, as Beamish read a proclamation that stated, “we as 2SLGBTQIA+ community members and our allies all strive to create a healthy, supportive, welcoming and inclusive community. As we gather, we create a place of caring, of compassion, of kindness. We are each other's safe harbours, and this, a place we can all call home.”

Community spokesperson Jan Legault thanked council for their support. Legault noted that the Coast housing affordability crisis had led to long-time local Pride Month champion Laurie Lesk leaving the community.

Speaking on the importance of the month, Legault said it was an opportunity to “reclaim our history, celebrate our present and grow into our future.”

Coun. David Croal noted that the Pride Flag would be raised at Town hall on June 1. 

Correction: An earlier version of this story used the incorrect pronoun for Jan Legault and misspelled Laurie Lesk's name. We regret errors.

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