City to start broadcasting council meetings live in 2015

By Robert Frank

Laval intends to follow in the footsteps of many Montreal suburbs by broadcasting the proceedings of its city council meetings via the Internet.

City executive committee vice-chairman David de Cotis told The Suburban that the new technology will be bundled with upcoming changes to how city council meetings are conducted.

“It was our election promise that we would do it,” de Cotis said in an interview.

“When we were the official opposition, we started videotaping city council meetings and putting it on the Mouvement lavallois [municipal political party] website,” he reminded.

“Now we’re working on broadcasting council meetings online live,” de Cotis continued. “It will probably happen in 2015 rather than in 2014, because we’re reviewing the whole question period issue. So putting city council online will coincide with that revision.”

He did not specify what changes the city plans to make to its question period, when residents get to pose questions to Mayor Marc Demers and the city’s 21 elected councillors for each municipal district.

Currently, council rules require citizens submit their question in advance by filling in a form identifying themselves and then handing it to a municipal worker who then passes it to the person chairing the meeting, for council to consider.

Unlike many other municipalities, the mayor does not chair council meetings. Rather, he rises like any other elected representative, to respond to questions channeled to him through the council chair.

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