Who is your City government?
The City of Ottawa is governed by an elected 24-member City Council comprised of the Mayor, representing the city as a whole, and 23 Councillors, representing the city’s individual wards. The Mayor and City Councillors serve four-year terms, beginning on December 1, 2014.
How does City Council affect you?
Decisions made by City Council have a direct effect on the residents of Ottawa and impact the type, level and variety of municipal services provided to you. Council is the decision-making body responsible for the administration of the City of Ottawa and is responsible for turning community needs into municipal services including policing, water, transit, garbage and recycling, sewers, fire and paramedics.
How does Council govern your City?
Watch live or archived City Council meetings by Webcast with footage provided by Rogers Television 22 on ottawa.ca or listen to live or archived standing committee/commission meeting audio casts.
- City Council meetings:
In accordance with the Procedure By-law, City Council meets the second and fourth Wednesday of the month, usually beginning at 10 a.m. in Andrew S. Haydon Hall at City Hall. Council meets once a month in March, July, August and December, and once in the October of an election year as determined by the Mayor.
- Standing Committees:
City Council appoints standing committees, made up solely of Councillors, (with the exceptions of Transit Commission and Built Heritage Sub-Committee, both of which include Members of Council and citizen members), to study specific issues before bringing them to a meeting of City Council. It is at the standing committee/commission that you may make a five-minute presentation and voice your opinions and provide feedback on City issues being considered by the committee/commission, before recommendations are given to Council. To make a presentation, you can contact the staff member responsible for the standing committee/commission in advance of the meeting or you can sign up to make a presentation at the meeting. View the meeting listing for the specific standing committee/commission to find out who the staff contact is or call 3-1-1 (TTY: 613-580-2401).
- Advisory Committees:
Advisory committees provide advice to City Council and staff on specifically mandated areas of interest, and contribute to the development of policies, programs and initiatives. Advisory committees are composed of volunteers, appointed by Council. . Advisory Committee membership is tied to the Term of Council, and recruitment takes place once, early in each Term of Council and again at approximately mid-term. If you think you may be interested in applying to serve on a particular advisory committee, attend one of their meetings to get a better sense of how it works, what it does and what is expected of its members. View the meeting listing for the specific Advisory Committee to find out who the staff contact is or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Are you welcome at City Council, standing committee and advisory committee meetings?
YES! 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.
How can you as a resident be 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:
Plug in to your City and sign 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. If you are unsure who your City Councillor is, the City’s ward map may help. 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.