Coming to Council/Committee Meetings
All Council and Committee meetings are open to the public unless closed for reasons that are laid out in the Local Government Act, usually around potential litigation or personnel. Council appreciates your interest in local government and has made it a priority to be accessible by providing the following opportunities for you to participate at Council/Committee Meetings.
Scheduled Delegation: In order to formally appear before Council as a delegation on any matter, there is an application process and a completed Form must be submitted to the District Office 7 days in advance of the date you wish to appear.
Unscheduled Delegation: For urgent matters, Council can pass a motion to hear from you as an unscheduled delegation. However, you must declare why it qualifies as an item which cannot wait until the next meeting.
Public Hearing: For matters that require a Public Hearing by legislation or when Council feels a matter requires additional input from the public prior to them making a decision, you may address Council .
Public Inquiries: At all Council Meetings, if time permits, the Mayor will ask if there are any questions or issues that members of the public would like to bring to Council's attention.
For the latter two situations, speakers must first be recognized by the member of Council presiding at the meeting. One speaker at a time is recognized and, for the benefit of all participants, comments or gestures of support or opposition from those who do not "have the floor" are discouraged. All comments are directed to the presiding member.
Here's how to address Council:
- If you are scheduled as a delegation, the presiding member will call your name in turn at the appropriate time.
- When called upon to speak, proceed to the speaker's podium or table, make yourself comfortable and please, speak clearly.
- Introduce yourself to Council - by stating your full name and civic address as necessary for the record.
- The Mayor may be referred to as "Mayor (last name)" or "Mister/Madam Mayor"; Council members as "Councillor"; and presiding members other than the Mayor as "Madam/Mister Chair".
- You can monitor your time, or the presiding member will let you know when your time has elapsed (usually 5min or less)
Another formality - Comments on some Council agenda items may be restricted by legal requirements. These items are listed as Zoning or Official Community Plan bylaw amendments at third reading or adoption, ie. after the Public Hearing has closed. If you have any questions about this procedure, please feel free to discuss it with staff in the District Office during office hours.
If you wish Council to receive written material in advance of your attendance at a meeting, we can circulate the material to Council if you submit the material with your application.