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Get involved in local government

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.

Submitting a petition to Council

Recognizing that petitions play an integral role in the communication between residents and elected officials, on December 8, 2010, City Council adopted a Petition Policy that established procedures for the submission and recognition of public petitions.

Learn More

Council and committee meetings during COVID-19

You can watch live City Council or Committee meetings on the Ottawa City Council YouTube Channel . Regular City Council Meetings will also be broadcast live on RogersTV Cable 22 and live streamed on the RogersTV Website (link is external).

The Public can also Participate in Standing Committee, Transit Commission, Sub-Committee and Advisory Committee proceedings virtually as Committee meetings continue via Zoom. Please check the specific meeting agenda (link is external) for how to register to speak 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.