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Vancouver piloting changes to Council meeting procedures

More certainty about timeframes for speakers expected

March 22 2019 –

Vancouver City Council has agreed to trial a number of changes to the way Council meetings are conducted that are expected to help make the meetings more efficient, while providing more certainty on timelines for those who have registered to speak.

Significant changes

One significant change is a reduction in the amount of time allotted―reduced from five minutes to three―for both members of the public who have registered to speak to an agenda item at Council, as well as to members of Council who are asking questions of speakers.

A second significant change, based on feedback from the public, is that people who have registered to speak to a City staff report will be heard on the day the agenda item is listed. In the past, Council only heard speakers at Standing Committee by referring agenda items with registered speakers from the regular Council meeting to the Standing Committee Meeting on the following day. During the pilot project, speakers to motions put forward by Councillors (Member Motions) will be heard on Wednesdays at the Standing Committee meeting between 3pm and 10pm. It is hoped that providing more definitive timeframes for speakers will help with scheduling, and mean less time waiting for their turn to speak.

More meeting changes

Councillors will also be required to submit any amendments in written form to the City Clerk before introducing or moving the motion on the floor of Council.

City staff are also exploring whether it is possible to release the Council meeting agendas and associated materials earlier; currently, agendas are published one week in advance.

Pilot runs April to May

The pilot is set to run for the Regular Council and Standing Committee meetings in April and May, after which staff will report back to Council on the success of the pilot.

Learn more about speaking at a Council meeting