FAQ: Speaker Sign up for Open Delegations - Regular Council during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Updated: February 9, 2021.

Download a copy of the FAQ (PDF)

Note: This page is frequently updated due to ongoing changes from the Provincial Government. Please check the City's website for the latest version.

ALL SPEAKERS are only being heard electronically. You can use a smart device, computer, or telephone to speak to Council.

Q: What rules and laws are currently guiding Council meetings?

Regular Council

Public Hearings

Ministerial Order M192/2020 (Section 7) allows Council to hold electronic Regular meetings (i.e. – Council can attend electronically). All other rules are the same as pre-COVID.


Ministerial Order M192/2020 (Section 13) allows cities to hold Public Hearings only electronically with no physical attendance by the public. All other rules around Public Hearings remain the same as pre-COVID.

Public Health Officer Order on Gatherings and Events prevents members of the public from physically attending the meeting.

Council Policy approved September 28, 2020 sets out numbers and rules for speakers (10 speakers at the first Regular meeting each month, register in advance). This policy is in effect until the Provincial State of Emergency is over.



Q: Can I attend the meeting in person?

A: Due to the Public Health Officer order on Gatherings and Events, in person (physical) attendance is not allowed. Speakers must use the phone or zoom to speak to Council. You can also watch the livestream of the meeting on the City's website.

Q: Will Council members be in the meeting?

A: Council members are currently attending meetings electronically via Zoom.

Speakers: Signing Up to Address Council at a Regular Council meeting.

Q: When can I sign up to speak at a Regular Council meeting?

A: Council is hearing speakers as Open Delegations at the first Regular Meeting of each month. You can sign up starting 6 days in advance of the meeting.

The list of meetings where Council will hear speakers in 2021 is available on the City's Website.

Q: How can I sign up to speak?

A: Fill out the form at speakers.newwestcity.ca, or call 604-527-4523 if you require assistance.

Q: Are you hearing speakers at fewer meetings than before the pandemic?

A: Council has always heard Open Delegations at one Regular Meeting per month. Until this year, we also had a Public Hearing on same day as the second regular meeting each month. This year, Public Hearings have their own days.

Q: How do I speak to Council if I can't attend in person?

A: Council meetings are being held using the Zoom platform. After you sign up to speak, you will receive detailed instructions on how to access the meeting. Information is also available on the City's Website.

Speakers: Number and Scheduling

Q: How many speakers/Open Delegations will be heard at a Regular Council meeting?

A: A maximum of 10 speakers will be heard at the first Regular Council meeting each month.

Q: What if there are more than 10 speaking requests?

A: Staff will assign spots to speak based on topic. If there are more than 10 topics, the first 10 topics will be put on the list.

If there are more than 10 requests, and multiple speakers on the same topic, the first person to request to speak on the topic will be added to the list. If there are spots left after all topics have a spot, then speakers on repeat topics will be added in the order the requests came in.

Q: Can I sign up more than once at the same meeting?

A: You  can sign up once, and you will have five minutes to speak. There will be no second chances to speak once the five minutes is complete unless Council asks questions.


Q: Can I change my speaking topic?

A: If you want to change your speaking topic please contact us in advance of the meeting. This is so that we can make sure what you want to talk about is not on the list of bylaws that have had second reading and are under consideration for adoption.

Q: Are there topics I can't speak to Council about?

A: Certain items can only be spoken about at a Public Hearing. After a zoning or heritage bylaw has received second reading, it is scheduled for Public Hearing. Council can hear speakers at the Public Hearing, but cannot receive comments before or after the hearing until the bylaw is adopted or defeated.

Note: There are certain areas that Council does not have jurisdiction over, such as immigration, military, and fisheries. Those are the jurisdiction of other levels of government, so it may not be meaningful to talk to Council about these areas.

For more information on speaking to Council, please see the "How to Address Council" page on the City's Website.