Summerland’s council meetings will soon be available to the public through a livestreaming service (Summerland Review file photo)

Summerland to offer livestreaming of council meetings

Initiative expected for May 11 public meeting

The municipality of Summerland will return to livestreaming its open council meetings.

Anthony Haddad, chief administrative officer for the municipality, said the livestreaming capability will be in place for the May 11 council meeting.

This will give the public the opportunity to watch the decision-making process as it happens.

READ ALSO: Kelowna looking at electronic options for council meetings due to COVID-19

READ ALSO: COVID-19 prompts closures in Summerland

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Summerland council has not allowed the public into council chambers. However, the meetings have been recorded on video and have been available after the fact.

Haddad said the livestreaming, using the Zoom platform, will once again provide the public with the opportunity to see the meetings as they are happening.

“Council wants to make sure the community is involved in our council meetings,” he said. “This is one of the opportunities for the community to see council in action.”

Mayor Toni Boot said allowing livestream access to the meetings is an important service.

“It makes it more transparent and open to the public,” she said.

The platform will allow the public to watch the meetings. It will also allow those speaking to various issues the opportunity to address council about issues on the agenda.

While municipal and business leaders are expecting the province to relax some of the COVID-19 directives in the coming weeks, Haddad said it will be some time before the public is able to attend a council meeting in person.

The restrictions governing public gatherings also apply to council meetings, he said.

This is not the first time Summerland has had live broadcasts of its council meetings.

READ ALSO: Live streaming ends

In late January, 2014, the municipality discontinued live streaming of its meetings, since few were accessing this service.

Instead, the municipality switched to a web video service, costing one-tenth as much as the live broadcasts.

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