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Fort St. John opens emergency operations centre, council meets weekly

Fort St. John has opened its emergency operations centre, and city councillors will meet weekly through April and the COVID-19 pandemic. All city buildings are now closed to the public, and city services still continue.
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Fort St. John city hall.

Fort St. John has opened its emergency operations centre, and city councillors will meet weekly through April and the COVID-19 pandemic.

All city buildings are now closed to the public, and city services still continue.

The city says it has opened its emergency operations centre and activated its emergency plan at the request of the province.

Earlier today, the province has suspended all local states of emergency specific to the COVID-19 pandemic, including Fort St. John's, and announced sweeping measures to prevent the hoarding and resale of food items and medical goods effective immediately.

In addition, B.C. is stepping up efforts to enforce social distancing and the closure of certain public and business spaces, enabling municipal bylaw officers to enforce provincial laws and issue fines up to $25,000.

Read more on the provincial state of emergency by clicking here.

Council has added three special meetings to its schedule through April. They are:

  • Special Council Meeting - Monday, March 30, 2020 at 3 pm

  • Special Council Meeting - Monday, April 6, 2020 at 3 pm

  • Regular Council Meeting - Tuesday, April 14, 2020 at 3 pm

  • Special Council Meeting - Monday, April 20, 2020 at 3 pm

  • Regular Council Meeting - Monday, April 27, 2020 at 3 pm

The meetings are closed to the public but will be broadcast live through the city's Facebook page.

Committee of the whole meetings will be scheduled as needed.

Further updates will be forthcoming, the city said.

Full release follows:

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, as of Monday, March 30, 2020, all City of Fort St. John buildings and offices will be closed to the public until further notice. City staff will continue to provide municipal services; however, in alternative forms, such as by email and phone. A dedicated webpage, fortstjohn.ca/covid19, provides a complete listing of how to access the various services effected by these closures.

Residents can “Report a Problem” on our website, or by using the Fort St. John City App, available for download in both the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.

Additionally, to ensure due to the rapidly changing COVID-19 situation, Council will meet weekly. A Special Council Meeting will occur each week that there isn’t a Regular Council Meeting scheduled. These special meetings will also begin at 3 pm in Council Chambers, so the schedule until the end of April will be:

Special Council Meeting - Monday, March 30, 2020 at 3 pm
Special Council Meeting - Monday, April 6, 2020 at 3 pm
Regular Council Meeting - Tuesday, April 14, 2020 at 3 pm
Special Council Meeting - Monday, April 20, 2020 at 3 pm
Regular Council Meeting - Monday, April 27, 2020 at 3 pm

Committee of the Whole meetings will continue to be scheduled as required following Council Procedure Bylaw No. 2403, 2017. Based on today’s ministerial order from the Provincial Government, Council meetings will no longer be open for the public to attend; however, residents are reminded they can watch Council meetings live or recorded or on the City’s Facebook page. Residents can also submit correspondence to Council, to be included as part of the meeting agenda, via mail, email to legislativeservices@fortstjohn.ca, or by fax at 250-787-8181.

At the request of the Provincial Government, the City of Fort St. John has activated our Emergency Plan, including the opening of our Emergency Operations Centre.

Further updates on the City of Fort St. John operations will be provided at fortstjohn.ca/covid19 and shared through the City’s social media channels. For additional information on the COVID-19 pandemic, visit:

Northern Health - northernhealth.ca
BC Centre for Disease Control - bccdc.ca/health-info/diseases-conditions/covid-19
Government of BC - www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/safety/emergency-preparedness-response-recovery/covid-19-provincial-support
Government of Canada - www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/coronavirus-disease-covid-19.html