Hansard– Why not at the Municipal level

I have come to the conclusion that the ultimate method of having Municipal council minutes better and more informative to the citizen that was not there is to not have minutes at all but have this.

The debates of the House of Commons are reported verbatim, recording correctly what was said by each Member in the House. Slight verbal alterations are allowed to be made by a Member in order to make the meaning more precise and accurate; however, no words or phrases may be inserted to effect material changes in the meaning of what was actually said in the House.

Hansard.   I ask why not?

I have read minutes of meetings I was at and there is no mention of councillors questions on anything or staff responses,  just “The issue of  _____ was discussed”  I would like to know more!

So what if the council meeting is broadcast on tv,  if I miss it I want to read the record.  I can watch CPAC and watch question period, doesn’t mean I can’t read the hansard a year later if I want to.

Sounds like a question for the Province because any time you want to change something at the Municipal level they just point upwards.

Joe?  Joe Dickson are you there? What do you think?

Then I could do just what How’d they Vote do stats on them.

Technically the Hansard is created because they record the official spoken word at the “meeting” .  It’s amazing that technology has advanced that software exists to take the recorded audio and transcribe it for editing.  Not like some clerk has to sit and type it all up!

3 Responses to “Hansard– Why not at the Municipal level”

  1. admin Says:

    I should clarify, I don’t expect Municipal Councils to start hiring Hansard reporters to attend meetings, I realise the Hansard process is very involved.

    What I am getting at is a verbatim record for the public record of a council and committee meeting.

    Oshawa City council has webcast now and you can watch an archived meeting as well. Rogers TV will broadcast a council meeting but they don’t save them from what I understand. You watch it live or if you have a dvr then I guess you can record it, I don’t have a dvr and don’t use the Windows Media player anymore to watch tv on the computer so I can’t record a council meeting either.

    I have sent an email to hansard at the Ontario level to ask about audio versions of the hansard like you can get at the Federal Level. If I wanted to I could listen to a podcast of Question Period, if I had insomnia I could listen to the podcast of a committee meeting! Who needs lunesta! Not Robocalls though as that would keep me awake all night!

    My point is , I would like to see the verbatim record of a Council meeting and Committee meeting , right here in Ajax.

    What if I was visually impaired? What are my options?

    Just some stuff to think about.

  2. Peg Gibson Says:

    With a decent audio version of the meeting, they could use the speech recognition programs such as Dragon Naturally Speaking (with high accuracy, especially in the newest version). Then there could be both audio and text, or just the text if they complain about the cost of video or even just audio podcasts to put on-line.

    I agree that minutes are woefully lacking whether by design or unintentionally. Time to allow the public “in” so those of us who can’t attend meetings can have a much better understanding of what went on.

    Rogers only records some meetings as it rotates coverage among the lakeshore communities, not the 3 northern ones. They do save the recorded meetings but you have to pay an arm and a leg to get them after the fact from Rogers. They don’t put them on their website for you to view later. They should - it would be a community service - but they don’t.

    I would like to see the verbatim record of a Council or Committee meeting for ALL the municipalities in Durham, including Durham Regional Committees and Council. Spend our money on that instead of some of the terrible pet projects and wasted money now spent. Engage the public, don’t shut them out. Recent actions at the region show that this council would rather not have the public present or knowing what it is they are doing first hand. They would rather spin it to their own benefit which they can do if nobody is watching or there is no record of what is said.

    Thank you Karem. We won’t agree on everything as I like Mayor Parish and would trade him for my Mayor in a heartbeat. But I agree with you on this and some other things like direct election of the chair which is long, long, long overdue.

  3. admin Says:

    Thanks Peg, It needs to be in a searchable database just like Hansard, so issues could be researched and all discussions about it come up.

    If it is only a podcast it creates the situation that you have to know what meeting you are looking to listen to.

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