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County council approves REP Program for council chambers

Posted on January 26, 2022 by 40 Mile Commentator

By Justin Seward


If people would like to attend Cypress County council meetings in person, they will adhere to the Restrictions Exemption (REP) Program, as per council’s decision on Jan. 18.

Council chamber attendees will have to either show a proof of vaccination or proof of a privately- paid rapid test result taken within 72 hours of service .

“So, a quick history on this, back when we had that meeting here on the 6th of January for our RMA (Rural Municipalities of Alberta) virtual town hall meeting—I came in a little bit early— I had some business to do with staff on the other part of the building,” said Richard Oster, county deputy reeve.

“I did it all behind the screen—totally impressed I did not have to go in their space. So then I leave there and I come over here (council chambers) and I sit down and I look, and I go ‘There’s no protection here on this side.’ I mean there is between us (councillors). But there is no protection when we have guests (or) staff.”

Oster said looking after themselves and staff has to remain a priority with council.

“I feel as though for us as elected officials it’s perfectly acceptable to use the definition of we should be vaccinated because we’re public figures,” said Coun. Dustin Vossler.

Coun. Michelle McKenzie agreed everyone should be vaccinated before entering council chambers.

“I know that we haven’t had a lot of people coming in here for public hearings and stuff,” she said.

“But, personally, that freaks me out just a little bit to know that I think we should at least have a minimum of a negative test to be able to come into this room to present to us.”

Patrons will still be permitted in the building to conduct business at the front counter without participating in REP.

Masks are mandatory in all indoor facilities.

The REP Program will take effect at the Feb. 1 council meeting.

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