Councillors in a Zoom chatHistory was made in Douro Dummer as we held our first video Council Meeting. As well, it was the first time the meeting was live streamed on YouTube. First let me say that since being elected I have pushed for greater access to Council meetings. Granted, these measures took place due to COVID-19, prior to the pandemic we were about to begin live streaming of our meetings. So it’s quite likely that live streaming is now here to stay.

Further, in anticipation of the adoption of live streaming, Council passed an amendment to our procedural bylaw on April 2, 2020 to remove the restrictions on using recording equipment in the Council Chambers. Yes, let me repeat that, until April 2, 2020 there was a restriction that prevented any member of the gallery, including media from using any photographic, video or audio recording devices in Council Chambers. The practice has been for members of the public and media to be required to ask permission at each meeting. The few times it was requested, it was always granted but my point has always been that in public meetings, the public has a right to record however they choose, for whatever purpose. It’s the transparency that people deserve.

Our first video Council meeting was certainly historic and our meetings will continue in this format in the forseeable future. The fact that our meetings are now live streamed on YouTube for people to watch is a critical improvement to providing greater transparency and access to governement which will go forward indefinitely.