Happy Valley-Goose Bay council votes to stream video of public meetings

·2 min read

Listeners to the Town of Happy Valley-Goose Bay’s streamed council meetings can soon become viewers.

The town council passed a revision to its policy overseeing the recording of council meetings and minutes on April 27 at its monthly meeting to allow the live-streaming video of council meetings to social media platforms and to provide access to the videos on the town website.

Two of the councillors, Jackie Compton Hobbs and Lori Dyson Edmunds, opposed the motion to Livestream video.

Compton Hobbs said the topic had been brought up a few times at committees and she had no issue with audio broadcasts but was completely against video.

“Audio, I have no problem at all,” she said. “We have to be transparent to the community and I don’t mind speaking up, I don’t care who hears me, but I certainly do not want to be on a camera in council chambers.”

Compton Hobbs said it was her right to decide if she wants to be on camera and she feels strongly about it.

“If it means I have to sit up there in the gallery, then I’ll sit up there in the gallery, but I’m not going to sit in front of the camera,” she said.

The other councillor who objected, Dyson Edmunds, said she had no issue with the audio stream and doesn’t mind video as long as the camera isn’t on her. It’s up to each councillor to decide if they want to be on camera, she said, and it’s their right.

Deputy Mayor Bert Pomeroy said he understands why some people may have an issue with it, but he pointed out that other municipalities do provide video of council meetings and some have been doing it for many years.

“I think it’s in line with being more open and accountable to the public,” he said. “It may draw more interest in council proceedings and therefore I support it.”

Prior to being revised, the policy did permit video cameras and recording devices to be in council chambers for the televising of council meetings.

Evan Careen, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Telegram