THE City of North Vancouver council is going off the air, but like many long-running TV shows, it won't go without a fight.
Council was unanimous last week in its objection to Shaw TV's announcement that it would no longer be airing live council broadcasts.
"That's absolutely wrong," said Mayor Darrell Mussatto.
Shaw TV has been airing live broadcasts of approximately one-third of the city's council meetings, replaying the meetings during the week. The cable company recently decided to forego live coverage of council meetings in all three North Shore municipalities.
The meetings will instead be shown late at night or during a daytime slot.
City council requested representatives of Shaw Cable defend their decision to cut off live coverage. "Shaw Cable should explain why they're doing this," Mussatto said, adding that representatives should appear before council during a live TV broadcast.
On its website, Shaw TV stated its pride in providing "programming that represents and reflects our Lower Mainland communities."
"This is a responsibility that they have and should not shirk," said Coun. Don Bell. "It's part of their community responsibility if not legal responsibility." Bell said he was "constantly amazed" by the number of residents who discuss city politics with him after watching live broadcasts of the council meetings.
The broadcast provider's decision to halt the live broadcasts is a continuation of deteriorating community service, according to Bell.
"They used to cover the all-candidates meeting, they don't do that anymore," he said.
During the meeting, which was broadcast live on Shaw TV, several councillors recounted the support Shaw TV had received from the municipality.
"Shaw gets to use our street, they get to dig it up whenever they want," said Coun. Craig Keating.
Keating successfully lobbied council to bring the issue to members of Parliament and federal ministers.
"I think we should make a bigger fight than this," Keating said.
The city's resolution was also scheduled to be submitted to the recent Union of British Columbia Municipalities convention.