The difference between meeting in person and meeting over a video call is like eating a lobster versus watching a video of a lobster. There’s some kind of chemistry that takes place when you’re in the same room as somebody and you can see their body language and pick up on their inflections.
Prior to changes in municipal law brought about by the pandemic, councillors had to be physically present in order to vote and maintain quorum — the number of members necessary for a council meeting to be considered valid (meetings lacking quorum must be suspended).
Prior to 2020, Clarington council was not live streamed. If you couldn’t be in attendance to watch you had to wait until – usually Thursday, when the recorded video was posted on the municipality’s website. However – live streamed or not, in order to speak to council, you had to physically be in the room. Those rules changed when pandemic restrictions came into effect in March.