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FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — A public notice bylaw adopted in July allows the city to post public notices in places other than the local newspaper.

Ryan Harvey with the City of Fort St. John said the city brought a public notice bylaw to council that would allow the city to post public notices on its website and social media channels instead of being required to take out an ad in a newspaper.

In 2021, the city spent over $65,000 on “goods or services” to Alaska Highway News.

The first and second readings were on June 27th, and the final reading was on July 11th.

Harvey said they will still be using the money on advertising, and this bylaw allows them to make the language used a “bit more friendly” for community members to understand.

“The public notices often are fairly legalized versions of documents,” Harvey explained.

They would need to say, for example, “In accordance with section 12 of the community charter, a public hearing is being held.”

Harvey said it doesn’t make sense to continue using the funding to provide notices this way.

The city will use the city website and social media to provide the required legal notice and use the funds to advertise in newspapers or other venues.

For example, during the election, the city used its social media pages and website for the required legal notices but then supplemented that with actual ads on how to vote and where to vote.

Harvey said that through the community charter, municipalities and local governments, such as the regional district and the city, were previously required to post public notices in a local newspaper.

Over the last couple of years, the province made some changes, according to Harvey, that allow municipalities to post public notices in spots that “might make more sense for the community.”

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Shailynn Foster

Shailynn Foster is a news reporter for energeticcity.ca. Shailynn has been writing since she was 7 years old, but only recently started her journey as a journalist. Shailynn was born and raised in Fort St. John and she watches way too much YouTube, Netflix and Disney+ during the week while playing DND on the weekends.