Speak at a Public Hearing

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make a presentation or make comments at the Public Hearing?

Yes. Anyone who believes they are affected by the proposal may express their views at the Public Hearing.

How do I know when to speak up?

For each agenda item, the Mayor will call for submissions from the floor. When this happens, the Mayor will address the audience and ask whether there is anyone present who wishes to address Council on this matter.

If you wish to speak, simply raise your hand and you will be acknowledged and asked to come forward to sit down at the microphone. Please start by stating your name and address and then proceed with your presentation or comments.

The usual format for each agenda item is as follows:

  • the item is introduced by the City Clerk by stating the site address, the name of the applicant, and by providing a general description of the purpose of the bylaw
  • next, the applicant is given an opportunity to make a presentation
  • written submissions are then acknowledged and summarized by the City Clerk, and finally
  • the Mayor calls for submissions from the floor - this is your opportunity to express your opinion.

How long can I speak?

There is a ten minute time limit the first time you speak as long as your comments are relevant and the hearing is not being obstructed.

You may speak a second time on any particular agenda item for a maximum of three minutes as long as you are speaking on new information and other people have had an opportunity to speak for the first time.

How do I know when a particular item will be discussed?

The order of items to be discussed is shown on the agenda, which is published on the website at least five business days prior to the Public Hearing. Copies of the agenda are also available at the entrance to the Council Chambers (printed on bright yellow paper) prior to the meeting so that you may follow along with the proceedings. Please note that, due to un-anticipated circumstances, the order of items on the agenda may be changed during the Public Hearing. We therefore recommend that anyone interested in speaking to an item arrive at the Council Chambers at the beginning of the meeting (7:00 pm). If you have any questions about the agenda, the City Clerk and the Recording Secretary are available prior to the meeting.

What happens after everyone has spoken?

Once everyone has spoken on a particular agenda item, the Public Hearing for that bylaw or proposal is technically over, which means that Council is not permitted to hear any more presentations from the public or from the applicant.

Next, Council considers the bylaw or proposal and decides whether to advance the bylaw or not. Once a decision has been reached on that item, then the next item is introduced by the City Clerk and the process, as described above, repeats again.