City council webcasting

ML intends to keep true to its promise
By Geneviève April

For as long as it has existed, Mouvement lavallois (ML) has advocated webcasting city council sessions, in order to improve municipal transparency and make the meetings more accessible to citizens. Newly elected Bois de Boulogne Councillor David de Cotis was the most ardent ML member to advocate using the Internet to broadcast video of city council proceedings.

At the first city council meeting after the election, a citizen raised the topic, inquiring whether ML intended to webcast the upcoming Dec. 5 public information meeting about the new flood zones that the Parti Québécois government has imposed in Quebec. That would permit residents to easily get vital information on a matter that profoundly affects them.

“We’re looking into webcasting city council meetings, but it won’t be possible in time for the Dec. 5 gathering,” said Mayor Marc Demers’ spokesman François Brochu in an interview that he granted to The Suburban. “We need to modify city hall wiring, hire people to provide the service, get cameras and figure out how we want to go about it. We also need to look at the budget and see whether we can afford it, for it is costly. We will probably have to call for bids. We hope to implement it by the end of our first mandate.”

A few years back, ML had orchestrated its own webcast of the main parts of city council meetings, after David de Cotis coaxed Emilio Miggliozzi to film, edit and then broadcast the parts of the meeting he deemed the most important via the internet.

“I had a small camera, and would stand at the back of the room and film everything,” recalled Migliozzi, who has since left Mouvement lavallois to join the opposition Action Laval party. “We couldn’t live stream in those days, because ML had no money, meaning that we would have had to use our cellphones, at a high cost, to gain access to the web. Had there been WiFi in city hall, we could have done it in a snap of our fingers, though, for less than $100 a month.”

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