Let’s get one thing clear. MetroVanWatch’s first goal, biggest wish and loudest request for 2015 is this: Web video (live and archived) for ALL Board & Committee meetings of Metro Vancouver.
We hope everyone will join the effort to make this happen in the “Greater Vancouver Regional District” (GVRD, known as Metro Vancouver), which consists of 21 municipalities, one Electoral Area and one Treaty First Nation.
As the Metro Vancouver region settles into the new year of 2015, our populace is in the midst of a race from 2.3 million toward possibly another million people by 2040. On the way, we all hope for peace, prosperity, harmony and sustainability.
To reach those lofty hopes, all players need to be involved.
Municipalities are increasing their communication, coordination, and integration across our region. Municipal governments are in cooperative relationships through Metro Vancouver and other bodies such as the Lower Mainland Local Government Association (LMLGA). We also know that many corporations (developers), investors, businesses and services are key players across all or parts of the region.
To match these kinds of regional players, there a growing need for communication and collaboration among the citizens, including the civic persons and groups that are watching their own municipal governments, their city halls and councils.
VIDEO SERVICES AT METRO VANCOUVER ARE CURRENTLY LIMITED
Metro Vancouver currently only provides web video during meetings of the Board of Directors. And once the meeting is over, the video is currently not available to view again. (In fact, the public portion of those meetings often ends in a matter of minutes, and then the meeting goes “in camera,” closed to the public. For greater transparency, the public portion needs to be increased, and in camera portion reduced.)
In addition, NO committee meetings of Metro Vancouver are recorded or broadcast by web video. Not live, not archived. It’s like a black box.
These officials in these meetings are doing public work, making public decisions, using public money. There discussions should be available to the public during and after the meetings.
The problem is certainly not technical, and probably not financial. Metro Vancouver has a good track record of taking video of its conferences and special meetings and most of them are posted online later for anyone to see. And most municipalities that are members of Metro Vancouver already have good web video services for the council and committee meetings. The technology exists. It is being used across the region. Metro Vancouver has no excuse not to provide the same services to the public
We hope that individuals and citizen organizations across the region will strongly demand that their own mayors and councillors call for web video at Metro Vancouver. As soon as possible, during 2015!