Thunder Bay council agendas going digital

The days of carting around heavy stacks of paper are about to end for members of Thunder Bay city council.
The days of toting hundreds of pages of paper to council will soon be gone for Thunder Bay councillors, as paper agendas will eliminated in the fall. (Jeff Walters/CBC)

The days of carting around heavy stacks of paper are about to end for members of Thunder Bay city council.

City clerk John Hannam said all councillors will receive laptop computers this spring. Currently the city provides council with either a laptop or a desktop computer.

After the new council is sworn in next November, paper-based agendas will be completely replaced by electronic agendas.

"By the time we get to the new term of council in December, we'll be using the agenda fully as an electronic agenda."

Councillors in Nipigon have already gone paper-free.

Mayor Richard Harvey said it has the potential to save money by reducing the use of paper, as some council meeting packages can be hundreds of pages long.

"So far, everybody's saying that they much prefer it, it almost seems to have made the meetings more efficient, as we have all the information right there."

Nipigon simply scans their agenda into a PDF [portable document format] and then makes it available for council through a web-based software application.

Thunder Bay will use also a web-based application. Hannam said the application will allow councillors to edit the document and make “notes in the margins,” if they wish.

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