Our take: Good to see the CVRD get on line with the times

It’s not in high-def, the surround-sound technology has yet to arrive, and it does not exactly feature your typical cast of wall-to-wall Hollywood action heroes.

But the latest digital creation to hit screens around Cowichan has a value that can’t be measured by typical Hollywood box office methods.

If you follow local politics, bookmark this address right away: cvrdmeetings.ca/sirepub/meet.aspx.

It is the internet address of the Cowichan Valley Regional District’s latest attempt to communicate with the public.

It consists of an online podcast of each CVRD board meeting. And it’s a tool we should be thanking them for.

We stick by the concept that democracy is participatory and everyone should attend a local government or board meeting at least once in their lives, if only to observe how the people they put in charge conduct the business of their community. But those who attend on a regular basis can attest to the fact a lot of what goes on can be a humdrum routine of bland reports and technical documents moved and seconded in dull bureaucratese.

The broadcast itself is nothing special — a stationary low-resolution camera perched above the board table that records debate.

But the point behind it is special. The broadcast comes with a search tied to the meeting agenda that allows you to skim through to the items you are interested in and witness exactly what happened. More importantly, it provides a real, visual record that provides more nuance and detail than any scribe’s official record  ever could.

Technology has changed the way we do business in so many areas. And institutions like municipal government have been slow to take advantage.

It’s good to see that changing.

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