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Live Streaming a Public Meeting

January 16, 2023 - Ron Kruzeniski, Information and Privacy Commissioner

The Legislative Assembly broadcasts its proceedings over the internet. Each word spoken by an MLA is recorded and published in HansardHansard is available to the public. Similarly, committees of the Legislative Assembly are public, sometimes broadcasted and recorded in Hansard. Both video and text are available on the Legislative Assembly website at (www.legassembly.sk.ca/). Committees can decide to go in-camera but motions and decisions are made in the public portion of the meeting.

All cities, towns and municipalities are required to have public meetings. Regina, Moose Jaw, and Saskatoon live stream their council meetings and Regina and Moose Jaw broadcast through the local cable company. The cities post their agenda and minutes on their website and allow access to archived council meetings. Saskatoon live streams some of its committee meetings. Of course, council or a committee can have an in-camera session, but motions are required to be passed in a public meeting. Other cities and towns post their agendas and minutes to their website.

School boards are also required to hold their meetings in public. The minutes of these meetings are available for inspection. The Regina Public School Board live streams its meetings, and its agendas and minutes are available on its website. Other school boards do post their agendas and minutes on their website.

All of the above leads to greater transparency of our elected officials. For those public bodies whose meetings are required to be public, I would encourage they look at live streaming of their Board or council meetings. Technology is now available that makes live streaming relatively easy and inexpensive. The geography of our province makes it beneficial to citizens when public bodies live stream their meetings. I would encourage those cities, towns, villages or school boards to develop policies and practices that would facilitate the live streaming of all of their public meetings.

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