Wednesday, April 29, 2020

April 27 Council Meeting: Expanded free ebooks, online streaming, classes and courses. COVID-19 local update.

On Monday afternoon, Langley City’s third virtual open council meeting was held. Yesterday, I posted about a new proposed 2020 budget for Langley City which would result in a significantly lower property tax increase than was approved earlier this year. I will be covering the remaining items haerd at the meeting in this post.

With people spending more time at home, and physical libraries closed, the Fraser Valley Regional Library (FVRL) has been focusing on its online resources. They have ebooks, audiobooks, magazines, music, and online streaming services such as Acorn TV available. There is also access to online learning resources such as, and content that is especially for kids.

These online resources are accessible via your library card which is funded by property taxes. If you do not have a library card, you can get one online and start accessing these resources instantly.

Because of the surge in demand, and closure of physical library branches, FVRL has expanded the breadth and quantity of online resources available.

They have also added virtual storytimes for kids which is done on Facebook.

Langley City’s has also moved its recreation services online with “Recreation at Home.” There are instructor-led fitness classes and art courses that have been created in-house. These classes and courses are for all ages, from kids to seniors. Youth activities are also happens including Teen Time Online and Instagram Live events.

Council received an update from Ginger Sherlock who is the emergency coordinator for the Langley Emergency Program, and acting fire chief Scott Kennedy.

Langley City and Township activated our emergency plan on March 11th due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Emergency Operations Centres for both communities have been setup to coordinate local government efforts in response to this pandemic.

Ms. Sherlock stated that the provincial government is leading the COVID-19 pandemic response, and the role of local government is to follow the advice and orders of the province.

She also stated that unlike other emergencies in our community’s history, this is going to be a longer-term sustained response.

While we are still in a COVID-19 state of emergency, the Langley Emergency Program is starting to shift its focus to a recovery plan.

As a housekeeping matter, council passed a motion that “open meetings of Council be held in the absence of the public until such time as the provincial declaration of state of emergency has been lifted.”

While people have not been able to attend council meetings in-person, they can still be viewed online. City staff are working to make virtual meetings even more accessible.

Finally, council appointed the following people to its Advisory Design Panel which gives advice to council on development projects:

Scott Thompson, City of Langley Resident
Rob Chorney, City of Langley Resident
Heidi Tobler, Business Community Representative (Downtown Langley)
Garth White, Business Community Representative (Chamber of Commerce)
Clark Kavolinas, BC Society of Landscape Architects
Chad Neufeld, BC Society of Landscape Architects
Mark Lesack, Architectural Institute of BC
Wendy Crowe, Architectural Institute of BC
Ella van Enter, Accessibility Representative

These appointments are for a year. This panel will be meeting virtually.

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