Approval of an emergency motion, introduced by Coun. Will Geselbracht on March 9, will now prohibit recording of District of Lantzville meetings, unless authorized. (News Bulletin file)

Approval of an emergency motion, introduced by Coun. Will Geselbracht on March 9, will now prohibit recording of District of Lantzville meetings, unless authorized. (News Bulletin file)

Lantzville prohibits audio and video recordings of council meetings without permission

District of Lantzville council approves emergency motion by 3-2 margin

After a last-minute motion last week, people attending Lantzville meetings are now prohibited from recording meetings unless given the green light by the district.

Coun. Will Geselbracht introduced an emergency motion at the District of Lantzville’s March 9 meeting, seeking to prohibit the public from recording any part of meetings with electronic audio, or audio visual devices except as authorized by council. The motion stems from a Feb. 24 zoning bylaw hearing live-streamed on Facebook by a member of the gallery.

“[While we had] our meeting, which was a public meeting – which is the proper place for the discussion of the zoning bylaw or any items – at the same time, a parallel meeting [was] going on in the public,” Geselbracht said. “The problem is we have an authorized recording device here so that you get to see the whole meeting and what’s said. With an unauthorized recording, that can be edited … You have people weighing in, you have people either getting angry, or commenting and it’s not taking place in the public meeting.”

Mayor Mark Swain said councillors can call point of privilege should someone be in their face with a camera. Coun. Karen Proctor said that is only so effective.

“We can’t call point of privilege about being filmed if we don’t know we’re being filmed and I think I’ll just leave it simply at that,” said Proctor.

Swain expressed concerns about the motion, as did Coun. Ian Savage, who stated it has a number of flaws.

“I’m unaware of any other jurisdiction that bans the public from recording with their cellphones; it’s perfectly normal with public events,” Savage said at the meeting. “The public is welcome to video it … I see no reason whatsoever why the public can’t tape our meetings. In my mind, it’s simply not a problem.”

Coun. Jamie Wilson said he doesn’t have an issue with being live-streamed, but the issues relate to recordings being done in a professional manner. He wouldn’t get into specifics when asked by the VI Free Daily about the social media video, but said commentary being made during the video was not fair to the process.

The motion was amended, but a copy of the amendment wasn’t available. Wilson also said the district will look into recording meetings in a fashion similar to City of Nanaimo and Regional District of Nanaimo.

“We’re looking into having a professionally done method of recording meetings where it can be live-streamed to the public,” Wilson said to the News Bulletin. “I think that’s fair. The public deserves that and we’ll work towards that. It’s where we’ve moved to, people want the information like that. I think it’s good, but let’s make sure it’s done professionally and fairly.”

READ ALSO: Investigation taking place into alleged secret recordings at Lantzville District Hall

Swain said council has authority to limit recordings within chambers if it sees fit. When asked about how people could receive authorization, he said policy and procedure have not been established yet, but one way could be through a request to the district office.

“As for permitting someone on an ongoing basis, that’s something yet to be discussed by council as we don’t have a policy in place to really deal with this,” Swain said.

If Lantzville residents are concerned about the new motion, Swain said they should write council to express their views.

Geselbracht was out of town, but in an e-mail, said it is council’s duty to control its own process and preserve integrity of how meetings are recorded. He also said it would “prevent distracting beeps and lights from hand-held recording devices during a live meeting.”

In an e-mail, the B.C. Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing saidit has no legislative role in approving municipal meeting policies or procedure bylaws.

Under the B.C. community charter, municipalities must adopt a bylaw establishing procedures for how council conducts business, said the ministry, and it is up to local government to establish rules for managing meetings, which includes use of audio-video recording of meetings and seating arrangements.

Geselbracht, Wilson and Proctor voted in favour of the motion; Savage and Swain voted against.

READ ALSO: First three readings of Lantzville budgets pass

READ ALSO: Lantzville council adopts secondary suite policy



reporter@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Lantzville

Just Posted

During a press event on March 6, Const. Alex Berube, media relations officer for the West Shore RCMP, addressed a deadly shooting that occurred in Metchosin the night before. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
UPDATED: One man shot dead in ‘targeted incident’ on Sooke Road

Highway 14 expected to remain closed through investigation, detour available to drivers

Gabriola Island poet Naomi Beth Wakan’s latest book is ‘Wind on the Heath.’ (Photo courtesy Elias Wakan)
Former Nanaimo poet laureate revisits past poems in latest collection

Gabriola Island’s Naomi Beth Wakan presents career-spanning ‘Wind on the Heath’

Shelter Point Distillery won several Canadian Whisky Awards this year, including a gold for best single malt. Facebook photo
Vancouver Island’s Shelter Point Distillery wins gold for single malt

Business won nine medals at recent Canadian Whisky Awards virtual ceremony

The Sooke Transition House Society operates Annie’s Place, a 24-hour emergency crisis facility for women and their children who are leaving situations of intimate partner violence, community violence and domestic violence. (Pixabay)
Women and children fleeing violence find safety at Annie’s Place

Sooke Transition House Society providing a home built on hope

Kyle Patrick McGuire was give a nine-month non-custodial sentencing to be followed by two years of probation on Wednesday, March 3, at the Nanaimo Law Courts. (PQB News file photo)
Bowser man sentenced to house arrest after guilty plea to child pornography offence

Nine-month non-custodial sentence to be followed by two years probation

The James C Richardson Pipe Band marches in a Remembrance Day parade on Nov. 11, 2019 in Chilliwack. Wednesday, March 10 is International Bagpipe Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of March 7 to 13

International Bagpipe Day, Wash Your Nose Day and Kidney Day are all coming up this week

Hockey hall-of-fame legend Wayne Gretzky, right, watches the casket of his father, Walter Gretzky, as it is carried from the church during a funeral service in Brantford, Ont., Saturday, March 6, 2021. HE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky remembered as a man with a ‘heart of gold’ at funeral

The famous hockey father died Thursday at age 82 after battling Parkinson’s disease

Personal protective equipment is seen in the COVID-19 intensive care unit at St. Paul’s hospital in downtown Vancouver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
$16.9 million invested to improve worker safety, strengthen B.C.’s food supply chain

Money to be used for social distancing, personal protective equipment, cleaning, and air circulation

More than ever before, as pandemic conditions persist, the threat of data breaches and cyberattacks continues to grow, according to SFU professor Michael Parent. (Pixabay photo)
SFU expert unveils 5 ways the COVID-19 pandemic has forever changed cybersecurity

Recognizing these changes is the first in a series of steps to mitigate them once the pandemic ends, and before the next: Michael Parent

These storefronts on Trunk Road have been informed by the City of Duncan that they must change their addresses to Festubert Street. (Robert Barron/Citizen)
Duncan business owners upset about being forced to change address

Owners say City of Duncan’s plan will hurt their business

The Raptors Rescue Society will receive $387,350 from the province to help construct its planned Education Centre. (File photo)
Raptors Rescue Society to receive $387,350 from province

Funding to be used for new Education Centre at North Cowichan facility

Nicolas Hay performs the Sepai kata he entered in Tbilisi Open Online Goju-Ryu Kata Tournament. (Michael Briones photo)
Parksville black belt tops online kata competition

Hay to teach karate at Qualicum Martial Arts dojo

Donna Hales next to one of her paintings of Sooke. (Mandy Moraes photo)
Parksville artist Donna Hales still displaying her work at age 94

Current exhibit at the McMillan Arts Centre through April 1

Malawian police guard AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines after the shipment arrived in Lilongwe, Malawi, Friday March 5, 2021. Canada is expecting its first shipments of AstraZeneca vaccine next week. (Associated Press/Thoko Chikondi)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 cases climb to 634 Friday, four more deaths

Currently 255 people in hospital, 66 in intensive care

Most Read