What the North Cowichan council meeting lacked in length it made up for in content earlier today.

Council decided to pause finalizing the 2020 tax rates until staff can present a report analyzing the impacts that closing the offices to the public will have on the operational and capital budgets.

Mayor Al Siebring asked the Minister of Municipal Affairs Selina Robinson if the May 15 deadline for budget preparation could be pushed back, due to the fact that staff who are tasked with producing that report are handling COVID-19 crisis management right now.

He also asked about the possible extension of the property tax payment deadline, but unfortunately this deadline is mandated by the province and North Cowichan has no control over it.

Taxes are due July 2, with no exceptions and anyone who doesn’t pay their property taxes by that deadline will be subject to a penalty.

The issue of panic-buying was also addressed and the Mayor urged North Cowichan residents to “calm down,” as there are no problems with the normal supply lines.

Due to the ongoing global pandemic only one council member was physically at the meeting.