Stream meetings, urges PoCo student
A Port Coquitlam high school student is calling on his city to stream video of council meetings on the internet, saying the initiative would make municipal business easier to access and more transparent.
Sebastian Zein, a Grade 12 student at Riverside secondary, told council during a presentation Monday evening that adopting the technology would increase civic engagement in the community.
“As we all know, voter turnout is abysmal,” Zein said. “Anything that can help further the information flow to the public and reduce apathy should be considered. The city needs to embrace anything that can help with those goals.”
He added that streaming archives allows people to learn all the background of a given issue and view the debates that took place in council chambers.
If Port Coquitlam were to adopt the online streaming technology, they should follow Coquitlam’s lead, he said.
Coquitlam has had live streaming for several years and breaks up the agenda items into separate video feeds. This, Zein said, allows a viewer to click on the specific issue that is important to them rather than having to watch an entire meeting.
Coquitlam is not the only community to adopt the technology. Pitt Meadows, Langley, Burnaby and Surrey all stream their council meetings online while other municipalities are planning to adopt the technology for their websites.
Port Coquitlam Mayor Greg Moore told Zein the city is looking into including money in the 2012 budget to cover the costs associated with streaming council meetings.
Zein said the city should make the live streaming initiative a priority and hopes to see the feature on the city’s website soon.
“So many municipalities in the region already have it,” he said. “I hope to see it implemented quickly.”