Delegations, Presentations, and Open Forum

The information below is provided as per
Southgate's Procedure By-law 82-2016 with respect to
Delegations, Presentations, Open Forum and Members of the Public. 


17.1 Responsibility of Clerk
Any person desiring to present information on matters of fact or to make a request of Council shall give notice and disclose the subject matter to the Clerk by 4 pm on the Wednesday preceding the Council meeting at which such person desires to be heard. It is the responsibility of the Clerk to determine whether a proposed delegation is unduly repetitious of a previous delegation.
17.2 Documentation Required
Any person who is scheduled to appear as a delegation before Council is required to submit to the Clerk, a written and/or electronic documentation “Request to Appear as a Delegation”, (Form can be found here) not later than 4 pm on the Wednesday preceding the Council meeting. If the delegate wishes to present a presentation; it must be included with the original request.
17.3 Time Limit
Each delegation shall be limited in speaking to not more than ten (10) minutes. Extensions to these limits will be at the discretion of Council. No more than one (1) delegation shall be permitted at any evening meeting, and no more than two (2) delegations shall be permitted at any daytime meeting. The Chair shall notify the delegate when the time has elapsed. Council members shall limit their comments to questions for clarification purposes only. In the event that an extension of time is required or requested, a 2/3 vote would be required.
17.4 Delegate Address
All delegates shall address the Chair from the podium and shall state their name and whom they represent.
17.5 Conduct of Delegates
No delegates shall:
a) speak disrespectfully of any person;
b) use offensive language;
c) speak on any subject other than the subject for which he has received approval to address Council;
d) disobey the rules of procedure or any decision of the Chair or Council on any other procedural matters.
17.6 Delegation Curtailment
The Chair may curtail any delegation, any questions of a delegate or debate during a delegation for disorder or any other breach of this by-law, and if the Chair rules that the delegation is concluded, the person or persons appearing shall withdraw.
17.7 Delegation Content
Every communication, including petitions designed to be presented to Council must be legibly written, typed or printed and shall not contain any obscene matter or language and shall be signed by at least one person and filed with the Clerk. Email, faxed or photocopied petitions are not admissible.


18.1 Time Limit
Presentations that are requested by Council, a committee or staff shall be held to the 10 minute time limit of delegations unless otherwise indicated on the Council agenda.
18.2 Presentation Content
Presentations can include training for Council, information from contractors, presentations of study findings by consultants or other such requests.
18.3 Supporting Documentation Required
Any supporting documentation shall be provided to the Clerk by 4 pm on the Wednesday preceding the Council meeting for inclusion on the Council agenda.
18.4 Form Required
A cover sheet, (form can be found here), shall accompany all presentations on the Council agenda. Every effort will be made to schedule presentations in a timely manner. The Clerk will provide appropriate meeting dates to the presenter.

19.Members of the Public

19.1 Conduct of Audience at a Meeting
Members of the public who constitute the audience at a meeting shall refrain from any activity or behavior that would affect Council deliberations and shall not:
a) Address Council without permission;
b) Bring signage, placards or banners into meetings; or
c) Interfere with the conduct of the Council meeting in any way.

20.Open Forum

20.1 Justification
Open forum allows for comments from the public relating to matters within Council’s jurisdiction.
20.2 Process
The first fifteen (15) minutes of any regular Council meeting will be set aside for Open Forum. During this time any individual may address Council to voice concern or provide information on subjects of municipal concern. Members of the public are required to sign a register prior to the beginning of Council which allows them the opportunity to speak and also acknowledges they understand the protocol for Open Forum.
20.3 Decisions
No decision shall be made as a result of comments made during Open Forum. Council may consider comments made during Open Forum when deliberating the issue if/when the item arises on the regular Council agenda.
20.4 Motions Arising
No motions shall be presented as a result of comments made during Open Forum other than during the Notice of Motion section of the agenda.
20.5 Debate
Members and staff shall not be engaged in debate or discussion during Open Forum.
20.6 Registration
The “Open Forum Register” shall be made available 15 minutes prior to the Council meeting for sign up and collected by the Clerk to begin Open Forum. Individuals are required to sign in prior to being permitted to speak. No individuals will be permitted to sign up after the register has been collected.
20.7 Opportunity to Speak
No individual shall speak more than once at any meeting, and no individual shall speak for longer than 3 minutes.
20.8 Curtailment of Time
The Chair may curtail the time or excuse any individual from speaking if the topic is unduly repetitious. The Chair may adjust the order of the speakers to allow for a broad range of topics during the allotted time.
20.9 Time Limit
Open Forum shall last no longer than 15 minutes and no time extensions shall be permitted. As soon as Open Forum is concluded, the council meeting shall continue as per the agenda.
20.10 Minute Content
Any comments made during Open Forum shall not form part of the Council minutes. The general nature of the comments and the number of speakers may be indicated in the minutes. The register shall be placed in the Council agenda file.


For more information, please contact the Clerk's department. 

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