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How to participate in Council and committee proceedings

All City Council, standing committee and advisory committee meetings are open to the public and your attendance is welcomed and encouraged. To find out when meetings are scheduled, you have several options:

  • View City Council, standing committee and advisory committee meeting listings on ottawa.ca.
  • City Council, standing committee and advisory committee meetings are advertised in the City page in Friday’s edition of Ottawa’s daily newspapers.
  • Sign up for the City’s e-subscription to receive a weekly Meetings at Ottawa City Hall next week electronic advisory.

The meeting listings include the date, time and location, the agenda and a listing of the staff contact for each meeting.

While you are welcome at all meetings, it is only at standing committee and advisory committee meetings that you may make a presentation.

Members of the public may provide either written or oral submissions (or both) to committee meetings related to items on the Committee’s agenda. Please consult the Committee’s agenda for a list of items that are being considered at the meeting.

After the submission deadlines for the Committee meeting have passed, members of the public may submit comments to the appropriate standing committee (if applicable) and/or submit written comments to Council.

Comments received after the submission deadlines have passed will be acknowledged by the Committee Coordinator and provided to all Members of Council as soon as possible prior to Council’s final consideration of the item (the Council date is noted on the Committee agenda).

Written comments

Members of the public may submit written comments by email to the Committee Coordinator, or by calling the Committee Coordinator to have their comments transcribed. Both written and oral comments are given equal consideration by the Committee.

In order to ensure that written comments can be provided to the Committee prior to the meeting, the deadline for submitting written comments is 4:00 PM on the business day before the meeting unless otherwise noted on the agenda.

Oral comments (public delegations) at Committee

Public delegations in committee meetings are are being accepted by remote participation until further notice.

Members of the public may register, by calling or emailing the Committee Coordinator, to provide oral comments during the meeting using Zoom. You must include your name, telephone number and email address (if available). Registration is required so that the Coordinator may provide Zoom meeting information to the speaker.

Neither a computer, nor a video sharing device, is required to participate in the Zoom meeting. Participants may join the Zoom meeting by calling a toll-free number.

Should you wish to speak for up to five minutes during the Committee meeting, you may register with the Committee Coordinator by phone prior to 4:00 PM on the business day before the meeting, or by email no later than one hour prior to the start time set for the meeting, unless otherwise noted on the agenda.

Those delegates who wish to provide a visual presentation (such as PowerPoint slides) are required to register to speak and provide those materials to the committee coordinator prior to 4:00 PM on the last business day prior to the meeting unless otherwise noted on the agenda. The Committee Coordinator who is moderating the meeting will share your presentation from his/her screen as you speak.

Public delegations are not in order at City Council meetings. Written submissions are accepted up until the matter is considered by City Council, and may be submitted to the Committee or Council coordinator for distribution to Members of Council. Please note that any written or verbal submissions (including your name but excluding personal contact information) will form part of the public record and be made available to City Council and the public.

How to become involved in municipal affairs

As a resident you have a vital role in the government of your City. Qualified electors have the right to vote in municipal elections to elect the Mayor, City Councillors and school board Trustees. While elections are held every four years, residents can be involved in the process at all times by:

  • Plugging in to your City and signing up for the City’s e-subscription to receive a weekly Meetings at Ottawa City Hall next week advisory.
  • Attending City Council, standing committee and advisory committee meetings.
  • Contacting the Mayor or your City Councillor directly. You can also contact Client Centre Service staff for assistance at 3-1-1 (TTY: 613-580-2401).
  • Attending a public consultation. The City conducts public consultations on a continuous basis to collect the public's views and opinions on various issues ranging from traffic management, to service delivery and environment protection.
  • Volunteering for an advisory committee.
  • Becoming a City volunteer.

Attending and participating in Council and committee meetings

You can access meeting documentation and live stream City Council and committee meetings on the agendas and minutes web portal. You can also live stream meetings and access past recordings on the Ottawa City Council YouTube Channel. Regular City Council meetings are broadcast live on RogersTV Cable 22 and live streamed on the RogersTV website.

You can actively participate in standing committee, Transit Commission, sub-committee and advisory committee proceedings. Please review the “Notices and meeting information for meeting participants and the public” document linked from the relevant meeting agenda or "How to participate in Council and committee proceedings" article to learn how to register to speak at committee or submit written comments.

Standing committee, Transit Commission, sub-committee and advisory committee meetings are being held electronically until further notice.

Those who are sick or should be self-isolating as a result of COVID-19 should not attend in-person at City Council meetings or any other in-person meeting or event at Ottawa City Hall. Please consult Ottawa Public Health guidance for updated guidance for those who have symptoms, test, positive for COVID-19 and high-risk contacts.

Security measures for Council and standing committees

The City of Ottawa has implemented security measures to ensure a safe and secure environment for in-person Council, Standing Committee and Transit Commission meetings held in the City Hall Council Chambers – Andrew S. Haydon Hall.

The foyer entrance leading from Jean Pigott Place is designated for all members of the public. Before passing through the gates, security personnel will inspect all purses, bags and overcoats. In addition, they will observe and assess all visitors to ensure they are not carrying any prohibited items.

A separate lineup at the public entrance is reserved for individuals with accessibility requirements, and visitors not carrying any bags or backpacks.

If an individual exits the foyer, they will have to re-enter the security screening process. Please note that there are washroom facilities accessible from the foyer.

The time estimated to complete the screening process is approximately one minute. To avoid any delays, visitors should avoid carrying any unnecessary baggage, and ensure they are not in possession of any prohibited items.

Any object that may compromise safety or security is prohibited, including:

  • Noisemakers, megaphones or air horns
  • Placards and signs
  • Sharp objects, blades or striking tools
  • Compressed gas cylinders, aerosol cans, and non-sealed batteries
  • Explosive or flammable items
  • Firearms – including toy replicas
  • Beverages
  • Any unchecked bags

Empty plastic and metallic bottles are permitted and can be filled at the water fountain located in the secured Council Chambers foyer. Please note, the consumption of food and beverages (other than water) remains prohibited in the public gallery of the Council Chambers.

Members of Council and City staff will be able to enter the foyer to the Council Chambers using a City-issued photo ID access card at the security gate located underneath the staircase by the Lisgar Street entrance.

The security gates will be in operation for all City Council meetings, as well as Standing Committee meetings held within Council Chambers, and other special events, if required.