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Committees and Boards - Recruitment

The City greatly benefits from the expertise and professionalism of public members of committees and boards. Public members are volunteers who participate in meetings and provide advice to their respective organizations. Volunteering is a great way for residents to get involved and make a difference.

Recruitment is currently closed. The next recruitment drive is anticipated to occur in fall 2022. Recruitment drives are advertised on social media, in newspaper ads and on this webpage. Information on how to apply will be posted during recruitment drives.

If you wish to be notified of the next recruitment drive, please sign up for the “Recruitment – Committees and Boards” newsletter using the City’s eSubscription sign up form.

Recruitment Process

Council and Committee Services, part of the Office of the City Clerk, is responsible for supporting the recruitment of public members for committees and boards. Applications are collected and provided to the Selection Panels for each committee and board. Selection Panel members then recommend appointments to Council for approval. Selection Panels usually include members of Council and a representative of the Mayor. More information about the recruitment process is included in the Appointment Policy.

Membership and recruitment requirements may be changed by Council from time to time, and may include recruiting public members for the following organizations:

  1. Board of Health
  2. Ottawa Police Services Board
  3. Ottawa Public Library Board
  4. Committee of Adjustment
  5. Transit Commission
  6. Built Heritage Sub-Committee
  7. Property Standards and License Appeals Committee
  8. Shaw Centre Board of Directors
  9. Rideau Valley Conservation Authority
  10. South Nation Conservation Authority
  11. Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority
  12. Mohr’s Landing/Quyon Port Authority
  13. Accessibility Advisory Committee
  14. Arts, Culture, Heritage and Recreation Advisory Committee
  15. Environmental Stewardship Advisory Committee
  16. French Language Services Advisory Committee
  17. Planning Advisory Committee
  18. Ottawa Community Lands Development Corporation Board of Directors

To be eligible for appointment as a public member, you must be a resident of the City of Ottawa and 18 years of age or older. Membership will, as much as possible, reflect Ottawa’s diversity and demographics in such areas as gender, official language, geographic representation, race and disability.

Note: Employees of the City of Ottawa are not eligible for positions as public members on committees, boards or commissions.

For more information on recruitment for committees and boards, please email

Appointment Policy – Citizen Members of City Advisory Committees, Boards and Task Forces, and External Boards, Commissions and Authorities

Approved By: City Council
Approval Date: March 28, 2001
Effective Date: December 9, 2020
Revision Approved By: City Council
Revision/Review Date: December 9 2020

Policy Statement

The Appointment Policy governs the recruitment and selection process for all Council-appointed citizen members to various City of Ottawa committees, boards, task forces, sub-committees, commissions and quasi-judicial committees, as well as external boards and commissions.


The City of Ottawa is committed to equitable and inclusive participation of the public in boards and committees and other bodies that govern and inform the work of the City. It therefore seeks diverse representation on all of these bodies that reflects the demography of the City of Ottawa.

To encourage participation, the City will adopt proactive communications, policies and targeted recruitment strategies aligned to the general concepts of accessibility, equity and diversity to ensure that all citizens have equal opportunity to serve as members on City committees, boards, task forces, sub-committees, commissions and quasi-judicial committees, as well as external boards and commissions. This is adopted with the purpose of reflecting Ottawa’s diverse demography inclusive of Indigenous peoples, members of visible minorities, persons with disabilities, women and gender diverse people, members of the LGBTQ+ communities, Francophones and speakers of other language groups, and people from rural and urban locations.


The following applies for the citizen appointments by City Council to City committees, boards, task forces, sub-committees, commissions and quasi-judicial committees, as well as external boards and commissions where Council is required to make such appointments.

Policy Requirements

Qualifications of members

  1. All Council-appointees must be residents of the City of Ottawa and must maintain this qualification during their term of office.
  2. All Council-appointees must be at least 18 years of age.
  3. Full time permanent employees of the City of Ottawa are not eligible for positions as citizen members on any City committee or board where Council is required to make such appointments.

Term of office

    1. The term of office is generally two or four years and membership is tied to the Term of Council.  Members are eligible to serve the greater of two consecutive terms or eight consecutive years on the same committee or board (a maximum of 8 years) subject to section 2.2 and 2.5.
    2. A person appointed to fill a partially completed term is appointed to the end of that term of office. Such a member, if appointed for an interim term not exceeding one year, may be eligible for reappointment for two full terms.
    3. Applicants are required to sit out at least one year after serving two consecutive terms, before being eligible for reappointment on the same committee or board, although may apply to serve on another Committee during that time.
    4. Those members who wish to be reappointed to an additional term must reapply and go through the approved selection process.
    5. The restriction on term limits does not apply to appointments to Conservation Authorities (Report ACS2006-CRS-CCB-0005 approved by Council January 25, 2006)
    6. Citizen members may serve on only one committee or board at any one time.
    7. Members continue to serve on a committee/board past the expiration of their term until they are re-appointed or replaced (subject to the end-of-term governance review).
    8. Terms of office, qualifications and membership on some external boards, commissions and authorities or quasi-judicial committees may differ as specifically outlined under statute or by-law, which would take precedence over this policy.
    9. In the case of City of Ottawa Advisory Committees, in order to accept and retain their membership with the Advisory Committee, each member is required to attend at least one (1) orientation session as well as read and sign the Advisory Committee members’ Code of Conduct.


    1. The membership of City committees, boards, task forces, sub-committees, commissions and quasi-judicial committees, as well as external boards and commissions shall, as much as possible, achieve a balance between a variety of technical expertise and other representation.
    2. As much as possible, the membership should reflect the diversity and demographics of the City of Ottawa in such areas as gender, official language, geographical representation, race and disability.
    3. Appointments should be undertaken with a view to achieving the City of Ottawa’s goal to have a 50 per cent representation of women on all City Advisory Committees.


    1. The recruitment for the City’s committees, boards, task forces, sub-committees, commissions and quasi-judicial committees, as well as external boards and commissions for which members are required, shall be held early in each Term of Council and again at approximately mid-term.
    2. The principles of equity and accommodation for all candidates shall be adopted and implemented by enforcing application deadlines, selection criteria, and interviewing procedures using the same questions and same evaluation criteria for all candidates.
    3. The recruitment and selection process for citizen members will include advertisements for interested applicants placed by the Office of the City Clerk, in the daily and/or weekly community newspapers in accordance with the City’s advertising policy as well as on the City’s website.  Advertisements will also be distributed throughout Client Service Centres and libraries.  In addition, for specific committees, an effort will be made to tailor the recruitment process specifically, but not exclusively, to the particular groups that are potential members.
    4. The advertisements may include the following information:
      1. Function or brief mandate statement of the entities for which recruitment is taking place;
      2. Frequency and time of meetings and where possible any other expectations for participation of members;
      3. City policies that guide the selection process or the operation of the Committee;
      4. Anticipated time commitment;
      5. Information on how to submit an application;
      6. A request for applicants to either select one committee/board of interest, or to prioritize the committees/boards of interest; and
      7. Indication that an individual can be appointed to serve on only one committee, board, task force, sub-committee, commission or quasi-judicial committee, external board or commission at a time.
    5. Applications
      1. All applications must outline how the applicant’s qualifications, specific skills, interests and background are relevant to the committee. They may include a statement of work, life and educational experience and/or a resume.
      2. All applications will be sent to the Office of the City Clerk to be processed.
      3. All applications will be acknowledged by the Office of the City Clerk.
      4. An initial screening of applications will be conducted. Only those meeting the qualifications set out in Section 1 will be brought forward to the next stage.
      5. All applications must be received by the published deadline in order to be considered.
      6. Applicants shall be encouraged to apply for only the committees/boards they wish to serve on rather than applying to many or all.
      7. Should an applicant choose to apply to more than one committee/board, they will be requested to prioritize their preferences.
    6. Selection
      1. At the outset of each new term of Council, City Council, upon recommendation of the Nominating Committee, will appoint a minimum of two members of Council to sit on each Selection Panel to review applications and make recommendations to Council. If necessary throughout the term of Council, the applicable Standing Committee or the Nominating Committee will recommend Selection Panel members to City Council.
      2. The Committee Coordinator for the Committee will provide advice and assistance to the Selection Panel.
      3. Each Selection Panel shall meet to determine selection criteria based on the specific expertise needed by the committee, board, external board or commission and the need to reflect the community as detailed under the entity’s composition, prepare questions to be asked of each candidate during interviews, and review applications based on these criteria to determine which applicants will be interviewed. It is recommended that each Selection Panel shall be required to conduct interviews when considering the appointment of new candidates to a committee or board as well as those who may be applying for re-appointment. In the case of members applying for re-appointment, the Selection Panel may choose to waive the interview requirement.
      4. The Selection Panel shall recommend appointments as well as a reserve list of people who could be appointed should a vacancy occur before the end of a term.
        1. The reserve list shall be maintained until the next advertisement for vacancies for that particular committee or board. The number of reserve members shall be at the discretion of the Selection Panel.
        2. Should a vacancy occur before the end of a term, the selection panel will meet again to select a candidate from the reserve list, with a view to maintaining the appropriate demographic and skill balance on the committee as whole;
      5. The Office of the City Clerk shall forward the Selection Panel recommendations through a public report to the relevant Standing Committee and Council (or Finance and Economic Development Committee if there is no assigned Standing Committee).
      6. The Office of the City Clerk shall advise all applicants of the status of their applications.
      7. Should the Selection Panel receive insufficient applications to fill the number of vacancies, the Selection Panel may request the Office of the City Clerk extend the application deadline and/or undertake a targeted recruitment process (outreach to specific organizations).


    1. Any member of a City committee, board, task force, sub-committee, commission, quasi-judicial committee, external board or commission who is absent from two (2) consecutive regularly scheduled meetings of the committee, shall be contacted by the committee/board Coordinator to confirm his/her commitment.
    2. Should the member miss another consecutive meeting, without being authorized to do so by a resolution of the Committee, the seat shall be declared vacant and the selection panel shall choose a  qualified reserve member for that committee/board to fill the vacancy.
    3. If no reserve members remain to fill the position, then the seat shall remain vacant until the next recruitment process. Recruitment shall only be undertaken at another time than the normal process if the number of members on the committee falls to one above quorum, or there is a need to fill vacancies on numerous committees/boards in that the associated costs and staff resources are justified.
    4. For record and information purposes, the Committee Coordinator will prepare and distribute an “Information Previously Distributed” memorandum to the applicable Standing Committee noting the appointment of the reserve member as a full voting member.

Subcommittees/working groups

    1. City advisory committees and boards may create subcommittees or working groups to work on specific areas of their mandate. These subcommittees or working groups may be comprised of non-members of the committee/board and do not require Council approval of the appointment. However, the subcommittee must have a minimum of one-third of the members as voting committee members of the main committee or board.
    2. Minimal administrative support will be provided to subcommittees and is limited to booking rooms and the provision of material if necessary.


    1. This Policy shall not apply to incorporated boards where the City is the sole-shareholder (ex. Hydro, Ottawa Community Housing Corporation, Ottawa Community Land Development Corporation) or to boards where the Mayor is delegated the authority to make nominations (ex. Ottawa Airport Authority)
    2. Certain provisions of this Policy may not apply where they are in conflict with the requirements set out in legislation, including but not limited to the Public Libraries Act, Police Services Act and the Conservation Authorities Act.


The Office of the City Clerk is responsible for the administration of appointments to Advisory Committees, Boards and Task Forces, and External Boards, Commissions and Authorities, in accordance with this policy. Selection Panels are responsible for reviewing and make recommendations to Council in accordance with this policy.


Failure to comply with this policy may result in inconsistent response, coordination and appointment of citizen members on City of Ottawa committees, boards, task forces, sub-committees, commissions and quasi-judicial committees, as well as external boards and commissions. Inconsistent application may hinder the objectives of open, accessible and impartial practice with respect to citizen appointments.



Legislative and Administrative Authorities

  • 2018-2022 Council Governance Review (ACS2018-CCS-GEN-0028) as approved by City Council December 5, 2018
  • 2018-2022 Mid-term Governance Review (ACS2020-OCC-GEN-0006) as approved by City Council on December 9, 2020




Enquiries should be directed to:

Office of the City Clerk
City of Ottawa
110 Laurier Avenue, West
Ottawa, Ontario, K1P 1J1
Tel: 613-580-2424 ext. 28136