How to Speak to Council

COVID-19 Update: You may choose to speak to Council either virtually by joining the Zoom webinar, or in-person in the Council Chamber at City Hall. The public is encouraged to participate virtually, as seating is limited in the Council Chamber.

Community members can sign up to speak to Council at City Council meetings (except those following a Public Hearing), or at a Public Hearing.

At a regular Council meeting, community members can speak about any topic.

Public Hearings are held about a specific topic, such as changes to the City’s Official Community Plan, Land Use or Zoning Bylaws.

In all cases, speakers have a maximum of five minutes to speak to Council.

  • Written and verbal comments to Council:

    Should…

    Should not…

    Explain your support or opposition and how the proposed use will affect you

    be about people or groups of people

    …use respectful, inclusive language

    ….use abusive, offensive, vulgar, or discriminatory language

    … use language that is honest, accurate and direct

    …use terms that disguise or underplay the true intent of comments

    …focus on facts

    …speculate or make assumptions

     

  • You may choose to speak to Council either virtually by joining the Zoom webinar, or in person at the meeting location, this is usually Council Chamber at City Hall but may vary. The public is encouraged to participate virtually, as seating is limited in the Council Chamber. 

    Under the Local Government Act, public hearings allow citizens to provide their views on changes to the City’s Official Community Plan, Land Use or Zoning Bylaws. At a public hearing, anyone who has interest in, or is affected by, the proposed bylaw or land-use changes can have an opportunity to be heard. Comments can be provided in several ways:

    1. Provide comments in writing (email or letter)
    2. Speak at the meeting (virtually or in-person)


    Click here more information on upcoming Public Hearings.

    Advance registration for Public Hearing speakers is recommended, but not required. Click here to fill out the online form, or call 604-527-4523 to provide your:

    • name;
    • city of residence;
    • phone number and/or email address; and,
    • the item you would like to speak to.

    If you don't register in advance, you will have an opportunity to speak after the registered speakers. 

    If you would like to share any documents or a PowerPoint presentation during the Public Hearing, please send your presentation to no later than noon on the Friday before the hearing.

    Please see the FAQs on Public Hearings for more information. 
     

  • Five minutes before the start of the meeting, you can join and participate in the meeting by computer, smart device, or telephone.

    1. Click the Meeting ID button below to watch through the Zoom program, or your web browser by choosing "Join from your browser".
      Please ensure your device has a microphone and that you are in a quiet environment. 


       
    2. To join by telephone: Call 778-907-2071. Enter the meeting ID: 655 9404 5919 followed by #.
      Please ensure you are in a quiet environment and do not use a speakerphone.


    Please note:

    • You will not be able to access the meeting until it is started by staff. If you are unable to connect, please try again a few minutes later;
    • In the meeting, you will be able to see and hear presentations, and Council and staff speakers, but you will not be able to activate your microphone or turn on your camera;
    • To ask for technical help with Zoom, click on the Q&A button in Zoom. Type in your question and staff will attempt to help you.
    • The Q&A feature in Zoom should only be used for technical questions related to Zoom. If you have other questions during a meeting, please email and staff will aim to reply as soon as possible. 
  • How will staff and the meeting chair (the Mayor) know who I am?

    Please be sure to enter your first and last name when you join the Zoom webinar, so that we can identify you as a registered speaker. Often, Zoom names can reflect the device (i.e. iPad 2) and not the user's name. 

    I registered in advance, how do I know when it is my turn to speak?
    Registered speakers will be called on in the order in which their registration was received (for large hearings this will be displayed during the meeting and published online at (link to Public notices page).

    If you have joined virtually on the Zoom webinar and your name is clearly identified, the City Clerk will request you unmute your microphone during the speaker before you.  Please unmute and sit quietly.  If there is background noise please unmute when the speaker finishes.

    In this case when your name is called simply begin addressing Council.

    If staff do not see the registered speaker's name in the Zoom participant list, they will call out the registered name and ask you to:

    • Computer: Click the “Raise Hand” button at the bottom of the Zoom meeting window;
    • Smartphone/Tablet: Tap the “Raise Hand” button on the bottom left of your screen;
    • Telephone: Press *9 on the keypad


    The City Clerk will send you a request to unmute your microphone. Click the button in the window that pops up to unmute, or press *6 on your phone. At that point, you will have five minutes to speak. A buzzer will end your time.

    After you are finished speaking, the Mayor will ask if Council have any questions for you in relation to what you’ve spoken about. If there are no questions, you will be muted.

    If you have more to say, click “Raise Hand” or press *9 on your phone keypad when the Mayor calls for additional and second-time speakers.

    I didn't register in advance for the public hearing. When can I speak?
    After registered speakers have been heard, the Mayor will call for additional speakers. Click the “Raise Hand” button in the Zoom window, or press *9 on your telephone keypad to indicate that you want to speak.

    I want to show a presentation when I speak. What do I have to do?
    If you would like to share any documents or a PowerPoint presentation during the Public Hearing, please send your presentation to  no later than noon on the Friday before the hearing.

    When you are speaking to Council, your presentation will be displayed on Zoom and on the video of the meeting. The City Clerk will advance the slides for you. When you are ready to move to the next slide, simply say: "Next slide, please."

  • You may choose to speak to Council either virtually by joining the Zoom webinar, or in person in the Council Chamber at City Hall. The public is encouraged to participate virtually, as seating is limited in the Council Chamber.

    Members of the public can sign up to speak at Council meetings on nights when a Public Hearing is not being held. All requests must be received by 12:00 pm on the day of the meeting.

    The online sign-up form opens six days before the scheduled meeting. See the schedule below.

    Council Meeting Date Speaker Form Open Date
    Monday, June 7 Tuesday, June 1
    Monday, July 12 Tuesday, July 6
    Monday, August 30 Tuesday, August 24
    Monday, September 13 Tuesday, September 7
    Monday, September 27 Tuesday, September 14
    Monday, October 4 Tuesday, September 28
    Monday, October 18 Tuesday, October 12
    Monday, November 1 Tuesday, October 26
    Monday, November 15 Tuesday, November 9
    Monday, December 13 Tuesday, December 7

     

    Sign up to speak to Council in one of the following ways:

    • fill out the online Request to Speak form;
    • email: , with your preferred contact information and a short description of your topic; or,
    • call 604-527-4523 and leave your name, phone number, and the topic you wish to discuss.


    IMPORTANT NOTE: Speaking about proposed changes to the City’s Official Community Plan, Land Use or Zoning Bylaws is not allowed in the period between when a bylaw has received second reading and it is considered for adoption. Click here for a list of bylaws currently in this category.

    City staff will contact you to confirm your request by 2:00 p.m. on the day the meeting.

    If you would like to share any documents or a PowerPoint presentation during the meeting, please send your presentation to no later than noon on the Friday before the meeting.