Council and Board Procedures
Council and regional district board procedure concerns:
Councils and regional district boards make decisions by bylaw or resolutions.
Bylaws are passed when the legislation requires that form of decision. In all other situations where a
policy is adopted or other decision is made by a council or a
regional board, it can be in the form of a resolution. Board and
council meetings must be "open
meetings", except in clearly defined circumstances.
Council and board members are expected to attend every meeting, to
participate and vote. However, if they are absent from four
consecutively scheduled regular meetings, or 60 days, whichever is
longer, they could be disqualified from holding office - unless
the absence is due to illness or injury, or the person has
permission from the council or regional district board. Disqualification from office
can occur for various reasons but final decisions about disqualification
and removal from office are made by the courts.
The mayor and regional district board chair are participating members of the
council/regional board and have the ability to vote and to make
motions. They are typically the presiding member at meetings which means
that they are responsible for maintaining order and the conduct of
debate. The presiding member can even expel a person from a meeting for acting
Councils are required to appoint an acting mayor or a schedule of
acting mayors to serve in the absence of the mayor.
In most cases, votes at a council or regional board meeting are
decided by a simple majority of the members present at the meeting. However,
there are a few circumstances where two-thirds majority is required. For
regional districts, there are added rules regarding weighted votes and
stakeholder votes. If a council or board member does not indicate how he or she
votes, they are deemed to have voted in the affirmative. In other words, they
cannot abstain from voting unless they may not participate because of a conflict
of interest. The Community Charter establishes standards of
Municipal councils and regional district boards are required to establish
the procedures for the conduct of their meetings and for the general
administration of the local government. These procedures are contained in a
While each local government has the flexibility to adopt meeting
procedures to suit their circumstances, there are certain procedures
that must be addressed in their procedure bylaw. For example,
they are required to establish and make available to the public a
schedule of their regular meetings but they have the flexibility to
decide the schedule that is most suitable to the council. Councils
may also conduct meetings as "electronic meetings"
(i.e. via voice conferencing).
Since most council and regional district board meetings are open to the
public, they generally allot time on their agenda for members of the public to
address the council or regional district board members directly. Citizens should
check with their local government about the procedures
councils or regional district boards have established.