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School District 44, North Vanouver Public Meeting, January 20, 2015

Recordings from last nights school board meeting. The video covers most of Part B  of the agenda. I have a few clips as well from Part C which I may upload at another time.

Please note these are unofficial recording and notes from the meeting and may contain errors or omissions. Please confirm accuracy through your own methods.

B.1: Board Committees and Trustee Representational Assignments
(2015) (carried)  A point of order: There seems to be a minor procedural problem at the start of this meeting where Trustee Skinner attempts to ask a question but is interpreted as seconding a motion.  In Part 1 at about 8:20 Trustee Skinner asks if there was a seconder to the motion. This is a relevant question for Skinner as an audio record of the meeting would lead one to believe that she seconded the motion. Observing the video it appears she had raised her hand for another reason.  At 1:15 Chair Forward asks if there are any questions or comments then decides to go directly into the motion. The motion is read at 1:35, meanwhile, Trustee Skinner is still raising her hand presumably with a question. When asked for a seconder Forward records Trustee Skinner’s hand raise as a seconder. It’s also clear from the video that Trustee Sacre raised her hand to second the motion.

There was discussion around the parent run safe routes project and whether there should be a trustee delegate.


B.2: Windsor Secondary School Seismic Upgrade Capital Project Bylaw No. 116576. (carried)

This section starts at 8:30 in video Part 1.

April 2013, project identified. Majority has been upgraded, few remaining issues. Blocks 1, Block 2 and Block 8 remain. Spending $5 million “and change” (note: The change amounts to $26,759). Still waiting for official ministry approval on this project. Hoping to commence construction during the summer break with completion in the 3rd or 4th quarter of 2016. Portables will be setup in grassy area north of the school adjacent to the parking lot “The former A wing, where the A wing was is where the portables will be.”

Motion was read three times and carried.

B.3 Corporate Banking Services (recommended motion carried)

Starts at 20:00.

B4. Report on the Budget 2015 Consultations – Select Standing
Committee on Finance and Government Services (recommended motion carried)

Starts at 23:00.

Trustee Staneley brought this item forward with the intention of having the board write a letter to the Ministry requesting they implement some of the recommendations of the Finance Committee to support improved funding to education.


B.5. 2015/16 Operating Budget Development Consultation Process (recommended motion carried as amended)

Amendment from Skinner: And further to and in conjunction with this that the board develop a needs budget in consultation with our partner groups for advocacy purposes. (Carried)

Starts at 32:00 of Part 1 and continues into Part 2.

No operating reductions expected in the new budget. The process will be largely the same as in previous years. An attempt will be made this year to include creation of an “unmet needs” budget simultaneously to the creation of the budget.

There was some question around if the March 3 meeting will happen as scheduled or have to be moved to another time due to other conflicts.

Skinner note that the NVTA has some ongoing concerns regarding the process of building the budget and Skinner would like the NVTA (and I think other partner groups?) to be included in creation of the process in some way.

Secretary Treasurer Georgia Allison is requesting the new board keeps things fairly similar to how they were completed in the past so “we can isolate if we are fully funded or not” with regards to the government saying they will fully fund the 3 new settlement agreements. “If we move things around too it will be difficult to know if we are fully funded or not.”

B.6 Board of Education Access to Information (tabled)

Starts at 24:30 in Part 2.

This was the most confusing part of the meeting – this motion was tabled due to “additional information” being provided to the trustees. I’m unsure what the additional information was I can’t find it in the agenda package.

B.7 BCPC AGM Budget Vote

Trustee Gerlach is seeking input, direction, clarification or questions to bring forward to the AGM. Late last term they had asked that BCSTA and BCPC could be a standing item on the agenda so we would have the opportunity to bring items forward at any time it is needed.

(video ends part way through discussion)

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.

Live streaming school board meeting

This journey began in October 2014 when I first attempted to live stream the public Board of Education meeting for the North Vancouver School District. The decision to record and stream the meeting was made as the meeting began. A hand held iPad tethered to my cell phone.It quickly became apparent I needed a tripod. As my arms were tired I was grateful when Superintended Lewis demanded I cease recording, however I was also incredibly disappointed.

School Board meetings are public events, are newsworthy and video recording should be standard procedure. Government accountability and transparency was part of my election campaign and I believe video recording of meetings is an important step to allow the media and the public to hold the school board accountable to the decisions they make.