By Cole Parkinson
With other elected officials moving towards further transparency in council chambers, the M.D. of Taber is exploring the possibility of live streaming their meetings.
During their regular meeting on April 30, councillors were informed of some of the progress made behind the scenes to find out if it would be a feasible option moving forward.
“He (Bryce Surina, director of GIS and IT) is waiting on hardware. We are working with a supplier who will provide us with a free demo but there is a problem with the hardware at this time. He is hoping to have that in the next month or two,” said CAO Derrick Krizsan.
One of the municipalities that has made the change to live streaming includes the Town of Taber. The live streaming for town council was initiated in conjunction with renovations to their council chambers last year.
Town council had voted unanimously to undertake renovations to the chambers with a $200,000 limit and a portion of that included equipment for live streaming capabilities.
“I’m glad to hear we are investigating, but I think it is important because we never made a motion about live streaming. I’m not sure where everyone is at or if its something people want. I personally, felt it should be something we explore, but I don’t believe we have a motion on the books. I think we need to find out the value of it and the costs related,” added Deputy Mayor Tamara Miyanaga.
While council seemed to be in favour of proceeding, more would be answered after the free demo.
“After the free demo we will have an idea if it is worth it,” said Coun. Leavitt Howg.
As far as costs, administration still had not nailed down any concrete financials.
“The demo would be free but after that, there would be a cost but I am unaware of what that would be at this time,” said Krizsan.
With council meetings occurring mostly on Tuesdays starting at 9 a.m., council knows most would not be able to tune in for live viewing.
“When I was doing some inquiries with others, it is not necessarily people will tune in to it at the moment, but they check out their issue or matter later on. They can still track that and see the IP address,” continued Miyanaga.
Others on council felt the same way.
“You can go back and view what you want to view, you don’t have to watch the whole thing. That is probably the way it will get used, there probably won’t be many people live streaming it,” said Coun. John Turcato.
A motion was passed to bring back costs on live streaming for the next council meeting.