Citizen involvement in local government is an essential part of the democratic process and there are many ways in which you can voice your concerns and become involved.
The City uses a wide range of tools to gather your input:
- Open Houses
- Community Meetings
- Public Hearings
- Council and Committee of the Whole Meetings
Your input will be most effective if you understand the Public Participation Process:
- Who is responsible for making the final decision?
- What are the steps in the decision making process?
- What are the factors and considerations that will weigh into the decision?
- What are the timelines?
- What are the venues for public input?
- Will there be an open house, survey, public hearing or other opportunities for participation?
There are different avenues to communicate with Council regarding items on an agenda:
You don’t need to attend a meeting to have Council consider your input. If you have been notified by way of a letter regarding an item on a Council agenda there will be a date and time that your written submission needs to be received. All correspondence to Mayor and Council, regarding a specific item on an agenda, must be received by noon on the day of the meeting.
Mail to 3300 Wishart Road, Victoria BC V9C 1R1
Drop information off in person at City Hall to the Executive Assistant to the Mayor and Chief Administrative Officer.
Regular meetings of Council and Committee of the Whole are open to the public. Opportunities are provided at each meeting for members of the public to ask a question or comment on items contained in the agenda. Citizens may also request to appear as a delegation before Council to address issues they feel are of importance to the community.
Tips for Preparing to Address Council or Committee of the Whole
Find out the process for the meeting that you wish to present at or observe a meeting in advance.
Persons wishing to address Council during the Public Participation Period must either be residents of Colwood or non-resident property owners unless otherwise approved by a two thirds majority vote of members present.
Twenty minutes is allotted for the Public Participation Period. The time allotted may be extended upon a majority vote of council but shall be postponed until after the Bylaw section of the agenda.
When approaching the podium state your name and address clearly and speak directly into the microphone provided.
Communicate effectively and remain “on topic” clearly addressing the issue at hand.
Topics addressed should be directly related to matters of city or community concern not normally dealt with by city staff as a matter of routine.
Topics should be addressed briefly and directed through the Chair. Debate with, or by, any member of Council will not be allowed.
No commitments shall be made by any member of Council in replying to questions. Matters which require action to be taken by council will be referred to a future meeting for consideration.
What is a delegation?
A delegation is a presentation by a person or persons on behalf of an organization or association wishing to appear before Mayor and Council.
How to Apply:
To appear before Council, you must submit a Delegation Request to the Corporate Services Department at least ten (10) days prior to the meeting. Delegations are not confirmed on the agenda until you are contacted by the Corporate Services Department.
|Application||Submit to Corporate Services at least ten (10) days prior to the meeting (inclusive of correspondence and background materials)|
|Audio/Visual||Audio/visual presentation material, video or PowerPoint, must be received with the application to distribute with the agenda.|
Delegations are usually heard at the start of the meeting.
|Meeting Date||See the Council and Committee of the Whole Meeting calendar on our website.|
|Time Limit||Each delegation as a whole is limited to five (5) minutes unless extended by a two thirds majority vote of Council members present.|
What are the steps involved?
❶ Applications are accepted on a first come, first served basis.
❷ Where two or more delegations apply to address Council on the same subject, only one delegation may address Council either in favour or against the subject.
❸ Organizations or associations are not permitted more than one delegation every six months on the same issues unless prior consent has been obtained by a resolution of Council.
What to Include:
- A completed Application to Appear as a Delegation.
- Printed background material supporting your application. If the materials are not submitted with the application, please bring 10 copies to the meeting for distribution to Council and staff.
- Presentation materials, video or PowerPoint, must be submitted with your application. This will allow for advance testing to ensure your presentation runs smoothly. You may wish to contact us in advance of preparing your audio or visual presentation to confirm the technical specifications of our presentation equipment.
What is the process?
The Corporate Services Department will communicate with the delegation’s contact person to confirm a place on the agenda, and to facilitate any audio/visual support that is required. Background information submitted with the application and presentation material will form part of the agenda package and will be published on the website.
Visual presentations must be in compliance with the federal Copyright Act and by speaking at the meeting, you grant the City of Colwood license to publish the presentation materials.
When will it be scheduled?
Every effort is made to assign the earliest possible meeting date. A delegation is not confirmed on the agenda until contacted by the Corporate Services department. Once the application is reviewed, the delegation may be referred to a committee or staff for direct action or response as deemed appropriate.
Restrictions on Subject Matter:
Council does not hear delegations on subject matter that:
- Must be or has been considered by Council at a closed meeting under the authority of section 90 of the Community Charter.
- Is before the courts or for which legal action is being pursued or is pending.
- Is or has been the subject of a claim for damages against by the City.
- Is or has been the subject of bylaw enforcement action by the City.
- Is or has been the subject of a public hearing held in accordance with an enactment that is a pre-requisite to the adoption of a bylaw.
- Involves an application before the Board of Variance that is pending or has been decided.
- Involves an application that will be or has been considered under a Community Grant Application.
- Has been referred to committee or staff.
- Is a contentious issue that staff are actively dealing with and a public input opportunity is scheduled on the matter.
- Is subject to a development application that is currently under consideration and for which a public input opportunity will be held.
What to Expect at the Meeting:
- The delegation will be introduced by the Chair of the meeting.
- The delegate should than proceed to the podium.
- Please be sure to state your name and address clearly at the start of your presentation and speak directly into the microphone provided.
- Direct your presentation to Council and communicate through the Chair.
- The delegation is limited to five minutes.
- Be prepared, have a purpose, support your position with facts, state your request (if any) and be courteous, respect and polite.
Please note: Meetings of Council and Committee of the Whole are webcast on the City website. Your image and personal opinions may be collected and disclosed as part of Council proceedings.