Executive Meetings to be Broadcast Live


Robert Thomas

In a rare demonstration of unanimity, Moose Jaw City Council voted to move their regular Executive Committee Meetings from the seclusion and tight quarters of the Scoop Lewry Room to City Council Chambers effective immediately. But the openness didn’t end there but effective after January 1st, 2019 the City will also broadcast those meetings.

In introducing the measure Mayor Frasier Tolmie stated it “is long overdue.”

Executive Committee will still continue to hold in-camera portions of their meetings in the Scoop Lewry Room but those meetings will be held under exemptions provided under Part III of The Local Authority Freedom Of Information And Protection Of Privacy Act.

Under that Act the City may hold in-camera meetings based upon strict criteria.

That criteria includes such things as information injurious to government relations and national defence, advice from officials, records from other governments, law enforcement and investigations, cabinet documents, third party information, testing procedures, tests and audits, danger to health and safety, solicitor-client privilege and confidentiality provisions in other enactments.

During discussion Mayor Tolmie asked about the potential of broadcasting Exec meetings on Shaw Cable 10.

“We haven’t had discussions with Shaw directly,” Myron Gulka-Teichko answered adding the City “needed to have discussions with the live streaming contracts.”

The City has a $60,000 third party contractor to provide live streaming and other services on the City's website www.moosejaw.ca. Council meetings are presently live streamed and archived on the City’s website in addition to the Shaw Cable 10 broadcast.

Councillor Chris Warren said “I’m 100 percent in favour of this motion.”

“We want to be as open as we possibly can,” Coun Warren stated.

“This has been something we have talked about since we were elected,” Councillor Crystal Froese said in support of the motion.

“In this day and age to have things that way readily available is important and I fully support this motion,” Coun Froese stated.

After the Council meeting and a short break Executive Committee held its first meeting in Council Chambers something it has not done since the Ray Boughen era moved Exec meetings permanently to the Scoop Lewry Room.

Councillor Brian Swanson in the Exec meeting pointed to an issue he has stated in previous Council and Executive Meetings that Citizens' Advisory Committee meeting minutes should be dealt with at Council.

“All it does is create more paperwork. To me it just duplicates things,” Swanson said, adding “when these things could best be held in the Committee of the Whole.”

There was no further comment on Coun Swanson's viewpoint.

The measure to hold regular Executive Committee Meetings in Council Chambers and broadcast them on Shaw 10 or live stream on the Internet was passed 6-0.