At tonight’s Committee of the Whole Council meeting, Councillor Nicole Beatty moved that the beach be opened on weekends as well as weekdays effective June 26. She was supported by Councillor Burchat but Mayor Henderson wanted any opening delayed past July 1. However, before there was any debate, Town Clerk Brent Larmer pointed to a procedural problem: a previous approved motion closed the beach on weekends until September so a new motion cannot proceed without a motion to re-consider. He suggested ways to overcome this but they required a two-thirds majority vote. A more moderate approach would be to go through a process which would delay a final vote for a couple of meetings, but it would allow input from the public and allow Councillors time to think it through.
Separately, Deputy Director Teresa Behan reported that, so far, the beach has had 300-500 people per day on weekdays.
If Councillor Beatty’s motion were passed, it would have called for the same rules – a capacity limited to 1200 or the Beach would be closed. Clarification of what this meant was that if the number got to 1200, no more people would be allowed on the beach and anyone leaving would not be allowed to return.
First, to implement the change at tonight’s Council meeting, as a first step, a two-thirds vote to suspend the rules of order would be needed. There would then be other votes (at least one needing a two-thirds majority). These would include a notice of motion to reverse the previous vote then a new motion to open the beach 7 days at 1200 capacity.
But in the end, the vote to suspend the rules of order was defeated. This now means that any re-opening won’t happen until mid-July if it happens at all.
As well as Nicole, Aaron Burchat and Adam Bureau did support opening so it’s likely that a motion will be added to the Agenda on June 28 with the necessary other votes happening after that. A final vote would be by mid-July.