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Letter to SD44 Board: Video recording is a right protected by the Charter.

A copy of a letter sent on Nov 21, 2014 asking that Superintendent John Lewis and Chair Franci Stratton refrain from blocking the video recording of meetings.

Dear Superintendent John Lewis & Chair Franci Stratton

I am writing with concerns about policy regarding video recording of school board meetings. Our elected school trustees are responsible for creating policy and procedures regarding operation of school board meetings. I expect the board will review this issue soon.

Chair Stratton and Superintendent Lewis, I address my letter to you, as you are enforcing a ban on video recording public meetings. I believe this ban violates the Charter.

On October 21st, 2014 I attempted to record and broadcast the public Board of Education meeting. The recording was shut down citing privacy concerns and School Board Policy 608.

Part way through the meeting of November 18, 2014 Kerry Morris arrived and started to record the meeting. At this point I started a recording of my own. Again, policy 608 and privacy concerns were cited. Mr Morris refused to turn off his camera. He was then threatened with being forcefully removed from the meeting.

It is my understanding these are public board meetings taking place in a public space, or a private space in which the public is being invited.

Further, it is my understanding that creating videos in public spaces for private use, for journalistic use, or for artistic expression are protected by s 2 of The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Additionally the Personal Information Protection Act specifically does not apply to activities taking place in public and protected under s 2 of the Charter.

With respect and understanding of s 2 of the Charter, which forms the very basis of our democratic governments, I inform you that I will be video recording and/or audio recording future school board meetings.

Although not required by law, it may be pragmatic for an announcement and notice of this intent to be made at future board meetings.


Shane Nelson


Superintended Lewis threatens to remove Kerry Morris from School Board meeting

I didn’t have plans to record today’s meeting however land sales was on the agenda and Kerry Morris arrived late and began setting up his camera. The meeting was interrupted while the board addressed the issue of Morris attempting to record the meeting; at this point I started my own recording. Again policy 608, privacy concerns and interrupting the meeting were cited as reasons for shutting down the recordings. Morris turned off his camera after being threatened with forceful removal from the meeting.