live council meetings
COVID-19 restrictions prevent the holding of public meetings
By Patricia Dumais
COVID-19 is a new reality for municipal council meetings according to a Gazette article of April 9. Unable to hold public meetings, municipalities are choosing to go the way of technology and the City of Westmount is no exception, holding its first live broadcast of a council meeting last Monday, May 4.
Residents will now be able to view entire public council meetings from the comfort and safety of their homes. The live feed can be accessed via the city’s website or its YouTube page. Future council meetings, as well as the archives of past meetings, are listed on the Council meetings page of the city web site.
Westmount residents, business owners, and property owners may submit up to two questions for the 1rst council question period, between 8 am and 4 pm, the day of the meeting. To do so, they must fill out a form on the Questions for the council page of the city web site, only available on the day of the meeting.
Residents will now be able to view entire public council meetings from the comfort and safety of their homes.
As well, they are allowed to ask questions live during the 2nd question period via YouTube chat. These questions must be related to the items discussed during the meeting.
Non-residents may also submit up to two questions each, to be addressed at the discretion of the council member chairing the meeting.
All those who submit a question must provide their name and address, which the city clerk will state before reading each question.
This initiative of videoing and live streaming council meetings will allow more residents to witness democracy in action. Understanding how local government operates is the first step to getting more people involved in civic affairs, whether lobbying councillors, taking part in community groups or considering standing for office themselves.
For more details visit westmount.org
Image: Pixabay – Andrew BurloneOther articles by Patricia Dumais
Patricia Dumais is a long-time (30-years) Westmount resident; a former board member of Centre Greene (1991-1993); a former member of the Westmount Healthy City Project – Environment Committee (2005-2015); a former Secretary of the WMA (2005-2017); and a present director of the Association of Pedestrians and Cyclists of Westmount – APCW (2009- ). She is also co-editor of WestmountMag.ca