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Legislative Services FAQs

  1. When does City Council meet?
  2. Does City Council or its Committees meet in private session?
  3. Can the public attend and speak at Council meetings?
  4. Is audio visual equipment available in the Council Chamber and Committee Rooms?
  5. How do I address the Mayor or Chairman of a Committee?
  6. When do Council's Committees meet?
  7. How can I obtain information on Council's Committees?
  8. How can I obtain Agenda information for Council and its Committees?
  9. What meetings are being recorded and made available?
  10. How do I find these videos?
  11. How long it will take to post the videos? Why aren't videos posted immediately following the meeting?
  12. How long will the videos be available?
  13. Is it possible to only watch sections of a meeting?
  14. Can I still watch the meetings live?
  15. What legislation governs this new video archive?
  16. How do I submit written communications to Council and what happens to communications/documents distributed at meetings?
  17. What are the main functions and composition of the Priorities and Finance Committee(PFC)?
  18. When can I apply for committee membership?
  19. Once the committee decides on an issue, is the decision final, or does the matter have to go to Council for approval?
  20. Where can I find out about Calgary's Bylaws?
  21. Where can I find out about Council Policies?

 

Q1: When does City Council meet?

A:  Regular meetings of Council are generally held on the first and third Mondays of the month, commencing at 9:30 a.m. Regular Public Hearing meetings (planning meetings) of Council are generally held on the second Monday of the month commencing at 9:30 a.m.  Please view Council Calendars.

 

Q2: Does City Council or its Committees meet in private session?

A:  Council may only move into private session (in camera) to discuss issues which fall under section 197 of the  Municipal Government Act (Division 2, Part 1 of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act). Some of these issues relate to labour negotiations, staff relations, legal opinions, land transactions, and financial matters. In these cases, the Mayor/Chairman will ask non-committee members to leave the room. 

 

Q3:  Can the public attend and speak at Council meetings?

A:  Members of the public are welcome to attend Regular Meetings and Regular Public Hearing Meetings of Council. The public is permitted to speak to the various land use issues at a Regular Public Hearing, however, do not normally address Council at Regular Meetings as the opportunity for input is provided at Council's Standing Policy Committee, or other Committee, meetings. A vote of Council is required for a member of the public to speak to an Agenda item at a Regular Council Meeting. Speakers are given five minutes to make their presentation (exclusive of question and answer time). Please view: Communicating with Calgary City Council and its Committees

 

Q4:  Is audio visual equipment available in the Council Chamber and Committee Rooms?

A:  Yes. Please contact the City Clerk's Administration Manager at 403-268-5861 for detailed information on the types of equipment available, and for testing your presentation prior to the meeting.

 

Q5: How do I address the Mayor or Chairman of a Committee?

A:  There are some rules of protocol to be followed when speaking at Council or Committee. These can be accessed by linking to the following document:  Communicating with Calgary City Council and its Committees

 

Q6:  When do Council's Committees meet?

A:  Council's committees hold regularly scheduled meetings once a month. Meetings are outlined on a Committee Calendar. Please view Council Calendars. Committee meetings are posted in the municipal complex and on the Internet. The Boards, Commissions and Committees Calendar listing should be consulted to find out whether meetings have been cancelled, re-scheduled, or whether special meetings have been called.

 

Q7:  How can I obtain information on Council's Committees?

A:  All committees to which Council makes appointments are listed under Boards, Commissions and Committees. This site provides terms of reference, membership, City Administration resource contacts, and meeting details. This information is updated following each Council meeting as required. 

 

Q8:  How can I obtain Agenda information for Council and its Committees?

A:  Recent and archived Council documents are available on the ELMS-Electronic Legislative Management Solution site. A limited number of copies of the agenda are available free of charge at the meetings.

 

Q9:  What meetings are being video recorded and made available on-line?

A:  Council meetings and Standing Policy Committee (SPC) meetings will be video recorded and archived on-line. There are four SPCs: SPC on Community and Protective Services; SPC on Finance and Corporate Services; SPC on Land Use, Planning & Transportation; and SPC on Utilities and Environment. Other Council committee meetings will not be video recorded, but agendas and minutes for these meetings will be available. If you address the meeting your verbal presentation will be part of the video recording.

 

Q10:  How do I find these videos?

A:  The archived videos can be found at the City of Calgary's Agenda and Minutes page. Click on the word "Video" to the right of the meeting you want to view. Once a meeting is opened, you can also select a link to a particular agenda item dealt with at that meeting, and the video will jump to the appropriate point in the meeting. Click on the PDF iconPDF Icon to the far right of the web page to open supporting reports and attached documents.

 

Q11:  How long will it take to post the videos? Why aren't videos posted immediately following the meeting?

A:  The videos will generally be posted three days after the meeting along with the meeting minutes. This time is needed to properly link the video to the meeting's agenda so citizens can go right to the item they are interested in watching.

 

Q12:  How long will the videos be available?

A:  The videos will be available on-line for three years after the date of the meeting.

 

Q13:  Is it possible to only watch sections of a meeting?

A:  Yes, ELMS allows us to link meeting agendas and minutes to the videos. Simply click the item in the agenda you would like to view and the video will jump to the appropriate point in the meeting.

 

Q14:  Can I still watch the meetings live?

A:  Yes, Council and SPC meetings will still be webcast live on calgary.ca and Shaw Digital T.V. Channel 89. Citizens are always welcome to attend meetings in person. Check out the Council meeting schedule at calgary.ca. The archive provides citizens with an additional channel to get the information they need on the issues that are important to them at a time that's convenient for them.

 

Q15:  What legislation governs this new video archive?

A:  The video archive is governed by the City of Calgary's Recordings of Legislative Meetings Policy, which Council approved in April 2011. Video recordings of meetings are made under the authority of section 33(c) of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy (FOIP) Act. The City of Calgary's legislative meetings are held in accordance with section 197(1) of the Municipal Government Act.

 

Q16:  How do I submit written communications to Council and what happens to communications/documents distributed at meetings?

A:  Written communications can be sent to the City Clerk who will forward them to the appropriate City Department for resolution.  If the Department is unable to resolve the matter, a report is forwarded to the Accountability, Priorities and Agenda Committee for a decision on action to be taken. If you are intending to come to a Committee meeting or Public Hearing Meeting of Council, and wish material to be distributed at that time, you will be required to provide the Legislative Assistant in attendance with 35 copies to hand out to members, Administration and the public. Any material distributed will form part of the Council Record and will be posted on-line and made available to the public. Personal information, i.e. addresses and telephone numbers should be omitted if you do not want the information public.

 

Q17:  What are the main functions and composition of the Priorities and Finance Committee(PFC)?

A:  This committee is comprised of the Mayor, the Chair of each Standing Policy Committee (SPC), Chair of the Audit Committee, and an Alderman-at-large. The City Manager and the City Clerk, or their designate must attend the meetings as well. The PFC is responsible for many of the former functions of the Personnel and Accountability Committee.

Some of the functions include:

  • Oversee financial planning and reporting;
  • Review and make recommendations about corporate structure, corporate personnel issues, and corporate policy;
  • Recommend appointments to committees when vacancies occur throughout the year following organizational meeting;
  • Coordinate the mandate of the SPCs in respect of Council’s Community Sustainability Strategy;
  • Provide advice to the Mayor on Council Agendas.

For a more detailed list of the powers, duties and functions of the PFC see the Procedure Bylaw

 

Q18:  When can I apply for committee membership?

A:  City Clerk's advertises the vacancies to be filled on the various Boards, Commissions and Committees annually. The advertisement appears in the Calgary Herald the last week of August, first week of September. Appointments are made at Council's annual Organizational Meeting which is held on the 3rd or 4th Monday of October. Membership requirements for all Boards, Commissions and Committees can be obtained under Boards Commissions and Committees of Council.   An online application form will be available through the City Clerk's website when vacancies are to be filled.

 

Q19:  Once the committee decides on an issue, is the decision final, or does the matter have to go to Council for approval?

A:  Council has delegated some final decision-making powers to its Standing Policy Committees and Special Committees  Please view Procedure Bylaw, however, these committees do not have the power to pass Bylaws, suspend or revoke the appointment of the Chief Administrative Officer, adopt budgets, or establish the tax rates (Sec. 203, Municipal Government Act).  Each sub-committee reports to a Standing Policy Committee; and the Standing Policy Committees and Special Committees report directly to Council.

 

Q20:  Where can I find out about Calgary's Bylaws?

A:  Bylaws are created to protect the environment, public health, public safety, or to maintain an orderly appearance in your community and city. Bylaws of Current Interest, and Bylaws of Frequent Reference can be viewed at Bylaws.

 

Q21:  Where can I find out about Council Policies?

A:  The Policy Library is an on-line reference of municipal policies adopted by City Council. These policies mandate various functions and services at The City and, where necessary, establish the procedure by which the functions are performed and services delivered. The Council Policy Library can be viewed at Council Policy Library.

 

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