We all want service — at one time or another — on demand.

That’s precisely what people now can get with the City of Ottawa’s Government Access Channel — also known as GAC 20. At the request of the public, GAC 20 now has a live video stream channel for online broadcast of city commission meetings, county commission meetings, legislative coffees, parades and other community events. These broadcasts are in addition to the content available on Allegiance Communications’ cable channel 20 and the city’s website.

The archive of broadcasts goes back to 2008, so those who want to catch up on government action easily can do so. Don’t be surprised that an unaffiliated commercial precedes the broadcast. The broadcasts, which also include the time and temperature and other informational slideshows, are offered at no charge at www.ottawaks.gov

You can’t beat the convenience of 24/7 access to the content available online at your computer, your tablet and — depending on your type of mobile phone (iPhone and Android devices) — on many smartphones, too.

For those unable to attend meetings in person, the online move is another avenue to experience things for yourself and watch city government proceedings in their entirety. The city is working hard to be responsive to the public and this is just one example of reacting to dialogue from its community members. The more openness and transparency offered by government organizations, the better.

Obviously, better accessibility and more convenience ratchets city services up even more. That’s access at its finest.


— Jeanny Sharp,

editor and publisher