Newsletter Signup

Burlington Council Approves Virtual Public Delegations at Meetings

Virtual Delegations

Burlington City Council approved a staff recommendation at our April 20 meeting to bring back the Committee of the Whole meetings to help City business continue and move forward, introduce virtual delegations for members of the public at Council meetings and changes to agenda management.

VIRTUAL DELEGATIONS

Here are the highlights from the report on how the City will introduce virtual delegations from the public:

  • Virtual delegations will be allowed at Standing Committees and Council
  • Delegates must submit a request through the online request form or an email to clerks@Burlington.ca
  • Residents will be able connect to the system via phone or using computer audio
  • Intended speaking notes must be submitted in advance, in the event that there are connection issues
  • Staff are working on an internal process for how delegation requests are handled and vetted
  • Staff are working on a process to support Statutory Public Meetings. Once this is determined, a bylaw amendment will be presented to Council.
  • All requests to delegate to an Electronic Meeting must be submitted to the Clerks Department by noon the day before the Electronic Meeting — if the meeting is on a Monday, then the requests must be submitted by noon on the Friday before the meeting

To make sure that the technology is used properly, the Clerks Department will work with the City’s IT department to create appropriate technical instructions for the public.

There will be a learning curve with adopting a new way to allow for and to receive delegations. There also may be issues with residents being unable to connect, not having the appropriate technology or poor connectivity. City staff will attempt to assist, but since delegates are requested to provide their speaking notes in advance, these
will be circulated to committee or Council.

Staff will review the first month of delegations and may adjust the procedures or the instruction materials based on experience or feedback. Allowing delegations will require more ITS and Clerks Department staff involved in meeting management during the meeting. The public’s participation is important, engaging more staff to ensure the public has access to delegate will help mitigate any disruption in service.

AGENDA MANAGEMENT

  • Clerks staff will submit a monthly report Council providing an update on monthly report projections.
  • Items not brought forward will have an anticipated date of when it will be presented.
  • If there are specific COVID-19 reasons why a report cannot be provided, rationale will be provided.

COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE (COW) RETURNS

  • Staff recommended the return of the Committee of the Whole to allow for flexibility in agenda management planning
  • This will create a new body that may deal with items that do not fit under any of the current standing
    committee mandates

MY TAKE:

We’ll give this proposal a shot, and ask for written delegation in advance to help in the short-term as a first run at this. We have to turn our minds to this no matter what, particularly with planning development applications that need public consultations. I’m really glad to see the three-month picture from staff. We’re looking at how we can make our business better after we’re out of COVID-19. I think this is a great step forward. I think this will make us more efficient in our decision-making at committee and Council.

— Mayor Marianne Meed Ward

RELATED LINKS:

PLEASE NOTE: To stay updated on what the City of Burlington is doing regarding COVID-19, please visit the dedicated pages burlington.ca/coronavirus (and subscribe) and bit.ly/mayormeedwardCOVID19updates, and our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page — bit.ly/COVID19BurlingtonFAQ that are updated as new information becomes available.

A Burlington COVID-19 Task Force has been created to help support our community through this unprecedented emergency — updates will be provided at burlington.ca/COVID19taskforce.

To report an incident of non-compliance with provincial emergency orders, please contact the Halton Regional Police Service COVID-19 Hotline: 905-825-4722.

We’ve also created a dedicated page to feature the local organizations and businesses that have inspired us during the COVID-19 pandemic by taking action to support our community in new and creative ways — head to bit.ly/covidwallofinspiration.

HELPFUL RESOURCES & RELATED LINKS:

*Posted by John Bkila, Mayor’s Media and Digital Communications Specialist

Receive new post notifications by email

Here are guidelines before you comment, and our expectations before we will post:

  • Be civil. Would you speak this way to a good friend? If not, rewrite.
  • Focus on the issues. Build your argument and make your case in support of your opinion from facts, research or other sources. That way we can all learn. “I disagree with so-and-so because…” is fine; “So-and-so is naïve/stupid  for thinking the way he/she does and here’s why…” is not acceptable.
  • Don’t make personal attacks. Don’t assume motives of those you disagree with, make unfounded allegations, spread rumours, or engage in any other behaviours that would discourage you from participating if someone said this to, or about, you. The Golden Rule applies: Do unto others as you would have done to you. We will edit or not post comments with this type of content.
  • Say it once: When comments from the same individual or individuals become repetitive, going over ground already stated, we reserve the right to close commenting.
  • Use your full, and real, name. If wish to make a comment in public, we expect you will publicly stand behind it with your name. If you don’t want to publicly reveal your name, that’s fine; you are always welcome to share your thoughts with me privately via my email below. I welcome and consider all feedback in making decisions for the community.
  • Have fun, consider and learn. Share your views and read those of others. May we all benefit from a healthy exchange of ideas, and learn a little more about the people in our community, what you think, and what’s important to each of you. You may end up changing your mind about an issue; even if you don’t, we hope everyone will gain a greater understanding of why people have different perspectives.

Newsletter Sign Up

Phone: 905-335-7607
Email:  mayor@burlington.ca

Media Specialist: John Bkila
john.bkila@burlington.ca
905-335-7600