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Governance &
Structure Division
 

Procedure Bylaw

 

Part 5 Division 2 of the Community Charter deals with the requirement for council to adopt a procedure bylaw.
 

What is required

The procedure bylaw:
  • establishes rules of procedure for council meetings, including the manner by which resolutions may be passed, and the manner by which bylaws may be adopted;
  • establishes rules of procedure for council committee meetings;
  • provides for the taking and certifying of minutes at council and council committee meetings;
  • establishes procedures for giving advance public notice of council and council committee meetings;
  • identifies posting places for public notices issued by the municipality;
  • establishes the procedure for designating a council member as the acting mayor; and
  • identifies the day, within the first ten days of December, for the first regular council meeting following a general local election.

Council may include any other matter, provided they do not conflict with other procedures, requirements contained in other parts of the Community Charter, and in other legislation.
 

In keeping with the Community Charter's principles of openness and accountability, council must not amend, repeal or replace its procedure bylaw without first giving public notice of the intended changes.
 

What to consider

Updates Required
The Community Charter includes new requirements for council meeting procedures, including:

  • identification of public notice posting places;
  • procedure for the recording of minutes at council and committee meetings;
  • procedure for designating a member as acting mayor; and
  • identification of the first regular council meeting following a general local election.

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Commissions and Other Bodies
A procedural bylaw must include rules for meetings of council committees (e.g., standing committees, select committees). When creating a commission or other body, council needs to determine whether to apply the existing committee meeting procedures from the procedure bylaw, or to design specific procedures for the new body. In most cases, applying the existing committee meeting procedures from the procedure bylaw will be the simplest approach.  In some instances, however, council may wish to establish customized rules of procedure. For example:

  • in smaller municipalities, it may be advantageous to develop rules for a member of a commission to take minutes at a commission meeting, or to place the overall responsibility for commission meeting minutes with a staff member other than the corporate administration officer; and
  • it may be appropriate to establish procedures that allow any member of council to participate in discussions and debates (but not to vote) in a commission meeting.

Electronic Meetings
Division 2 of Part 5 provides council the authority to conduct special council meetings electronically, and to allow council and committee members to participate electronically in council and council committee meetings, as the case may be. In order to exercise these powers council needs to establish specific rules of procedure in its procedure bylaw.
 

For more information on electronic meetings.
 

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Other Procedures
In addition to the requisite matters addressed in a procedure bylaw, council may choose to establish rules of procedure on any other matter it deems important.
 

For example:

  • meeting management rules (e.g. Roberts Rules of Order);
  • delegations appearing before council;
  • the practice of reading an invocation at the start of meetings;
  • the expulsion of persons from a meeting (as authorized by the Charter);
  • seating arrangements at meetings;
  • the role of municipal officers and staff at meetings;
  • dress codes;
  • limitations on the rights of members during discussions and debates;
  • time limits for the meeting;
  • questions from the public and media;
  • the use of various recording media, including television;
  • civil discourse and appropriate language;
  • the making of referrals and recommendations;
  • reports from subsidiary bodies;
  • the receipt and discussion of new business; and
  • the receipt and reporting of correspondence.

Additional Comments

The ministry has developed a sample procedure bylaw which is available in either Microsoft Word (180 KB) or Adobe PDF (381 KB) formats.
 

Please direct questions or comments to Advisory Services Branch.
 

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