St. Catharines council pausing discussions on costly non-COVID-19 related matters

CKTB - NEWS - COVID-19 money

St. Catharines council has voted not to discuss non-COVID-19 related programs involving large amounts of taxpayer funding until in-person consultation can resume.

During Monday's virtual meeting, Councillor Carlos Garcia brought forward the motion, concerned that some members of the public are not able to provide their input through online methods.

Councillor Mat Siscoe disputed that idea, noting the large amount of feedback council received ahead of the discussion on mandatory masks.

Siscoe said, "Simply hitting pause on everything isn't reasonable and it isn't good management of the city."

He also noted there is still uncertainty as to when public consultations will be able to safely resume as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.

City CAO Shelley Chemnitz also pointed out some policies that don't contain a monetary component can also have a large impact on residents' lives.

Garcia's motion narrowly passed with a vote of 7 - 6.

The definition of 'large amounts of taxpayer funding' was never clearly outlined with a dollar amount.

Soon after the motion passed, council committed funds to open some public pools in light of the recent heatwave and limited access to cooling centres due to the pandemic.