Web broadcasts of Saanich council meeting have drawn more than 17,200 views, according to Saanich staff. Travis Paterson/News Staff

Saanich TV claims more than 17,200 views

Since it started more than six months ago, webcasting of Saanich’s council meetings has drawn more than 17,200 views, according to the District.

Saanich officially started webcasting its council meetings in early September 2017. The first official live broadcast took place Sept. 11, 2017, as per Saanich.ca.

Since then, a count shows 17 live broadcasts of regular council meetings, committee-of-the-whole meetings, and public hearings between Sept. 11 and Dec. 18, 2017.

No webcasting took place during five special, in-camera, council meetings between those dates. Saanich also did not broadcast the committee-of-the-whole meeting on Saturday, Oct. 28, 2017, when councillors narrowly voted 5-4 to repeal the Environmental Development Permit Area bylaw, later ratified on Nov. 6, 2017.

Since the start of 2018, Saanich broadcast three regular council meetings, two committee-of-the-whole meetings, and one public, according to Saanich.ca, drawing 1,200 views in 2018 on top of the 16,000 views since the start of Web-casting.

These figures mean that each of the 23 broadcasts since Sept. 2017 have drawn an average of 747.8 viewers.

“Council and staff are pleased with the viewership we’ve received since we launched the webcasts in September 2017,” said Angila Bains, Saanich’s manager of legislative services last week. “It’s exciting that residents are able to participate in local government from the comfort of their own home or through their mobile devices on the go.”

Initial planning for the initiative — also known as Saanich TV — goes back at least two years, but financial considerations delayed final approval until April of 2017, when council approved some $200,000 for the system, which also includes a new audio system and other audio-visual features designed to enhance council meetings.

Saanich officials have repeatedly cited Web-casting as an example of Saanich’s commitment towards transparency, a point Mayor Richard Atwell made again in his annual address, when he spoke of webcasting as a “milestone achievement.” Notably though, Saanich appears as a late-comer in broadcasting its meetings, be it by cable-access television or with the help of a web-based system, a point Atwell’s obliquely acknowledged.

“This has been a long time coming and while statistics regarding webcasting traffic have demonstrated that the system has been well received by our community, it is heartening to see residents attending council in number,” he said.

Just Posted

Two people sent to hospital in View Royal crash

Crash on Island Highway near Six Mile Road snarled the evening commute

Physician assistants say they can help B.C. health care woes

Reducing wait times, improving doctor efficiency is the goal

VIDEO: Victoria writer and filmmaker turns her mental illness into mental strength

Mental illness robs Victoria woman of happiness from age 10

Sewage leak closes sterilizing room at Victoria General Hospital

Royal Jubilee equipment sharing means no VGH surgeries cancelled

Thieves target Sooke school’s emergency supplies

Journey middle school victims for a second time

VIDEO: How to roll a joint

The cannabis connoisseur shares his secrets to rolling the perfect joint

Advance voting begins Oct. 10 in Greater Victoria

The polls open at 8 a.m. for the 2018 municipal election with the general election taking place Oct. 20

Find your future at Black Press career fair in Victoria

More than 70 booths expected at Bay Street Armoury on Oct. 25

Boeser tallies in OT as Canucks beat Penguins 3-2

Vancouver wins without star rookie Pettersson

Mayor of Kamloops says ‘history has been made’ with vote on B.C.’s lone pot shop

The store to be run by the province in B.C.’s Interior is opening Wednesday as pot sales become legal across Canada

New bus route to ‘replace’ Greyhound along Trans-Canada Highway

Rider Express Transportation says they will soon begin a bus service from Winnipeg to Vancouver

U.S. pot firm urges Trump to deny Canadian producers ‘competitive advantage’

The challenge for U.S. firms lies in the fact that while recreational cannabis is legal in nine states and medicinal pot in 22 others, it remains illegal under federal law

Government says imprisoned Canadian terror suspects must face consequences

Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale showed little sympathy Tuesday for such individuals who now want to return to Canada

How rules for inmate segregation in Canada will change under Bill C-83

Federal government proposing changes to rules around inmates in federal correctional institutions

Most Read