Legislative Assembly now offers live and video webcasts

Debates of the BC Legislative Assembly are now carried live on the internet, as well as on television: see www.leg.bc.ca.

These video webcasts are scheduled for archiving within 15 minutes of the end of each sitting, so it is also possible to view previous sittings online. As an added benefit, a user can search Hansard online for statements of interest, using the Legislature's search engine, and then click from the Hansard text directly to the appropriate point in the archived webcast.

The webcasting is a pilot project for the Fall sitting of the Legislature, which began October 6, 2003, and is scheduled to end November 27. The archives will be available at least until the end of the year.

The Assembly will assess feedback from users to determine if the project will be continued in the new year. If it is, future enhancements may include audio webcasts of the Estimates Debates in the Spring. The Federal House of Commons in Ottawa has already adopted webcasting (see www.cpac.ca), as have several other provinces and most US jurisdictions.

Comments and suggestions on the BC Legislative Assembly service are invited at webcast@leg.bc.ca. Computer system requirements are outlined under "Webcasting Pilot Project/System Requirements" at www.leg.bc.ca.