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Communicating with Council

The City values citizens’ and stakeholders’ views and encourages all citizens to share these with Council and Committees in a respectful and open manner. Opinions and concerns can be communicated through informal and formal channels.

Informal Channels

Communications shared through informal channels are NOT a matter of public record and not referred to during Council’s decision-making process. Informal channels of communication include:

Correspondence

Councillors can be contacted by e-mail and phone and by general mail sent to 70 Collier Street, P.O. Box 400, Barrie, ON  L4M 4T5.

Neighbourhood Meetings

Neighbourhood Meetings are a resident’s first opportunity to hear about a proposed development in their neighbourhood. Attendees will meet their Councillor, City Staff and the development applicant, learn more about the City’s planning approval process and timelines, and have an opportunity to ask questions and share thoughts regarding the proposed development.

The main purpose of a Neighbourhood Meeting is to share information with residents. City staff will not be making recommendations on the application or a detailed analysis on the proposal (these will occur later in the review process). There will not be a debate on the merits of the proposal between City staff and the applicant.

Neighbourhood Meetings are not legislated meetings, rather they are a preliminary step provided above and beyond what the City is legislated to host. Later in the planning process, residents will be able to share their opinions on these applications during the Public Meeting section of a General Committee meeting. 

For more information on Neighbourhood Meetings, please contact Planning Services at (705) 739-4208 or planning@barrie.ca

Upcoming Neighbourhood Meetings are promoted via:

Town Hall Meetings

Town Hall Meetings are organized by ward and provide opportunities for residents to meet with their Councillor, Mayor and neighbours to discuss City-wide and ward-specific issues in an open forum. Residents can ask questions, voice concerns, engage with neighbours, hear from City staff and stakeholders, and provide feedback regarding City projects and initiatives.

For more information on Town Hall Meetings in your ward, please contact your Councillor or the Office of the Mayor.

Upcoming Town Hall Meetings are promoted via:

Formal Channels

Communications shared through formal channels are a matter of public record, and are documented and referred to throughout Council’s decision-making process. This information is available through general inquiries and may be reported by the media. Formal channels of communication include:

Circulation List

The Circulation List is a public document reviewed by Council each week, provided to the media and published on the Legislative Information Portal. This is an alternative to speaking at a City Council, General Committee, or Reference Committee meeting.

Circulation List submissions can be made by:

  • email: cityclerks@barrie.ca
  • Fax: 705-739-4243
  • mail: 70 Collier Street, PO Box 400. Barrie, ON  L4M 4T5

Submissions must:

  • Address the Mayor and Members of Council
  • Clearly indicate it is to be included in the circulation list
  • Include a cover letter with your complete mailing address, e-mail address, home and business phone numbers
  • Only include information you wish to be on public record
  • Be received by 9am on Wednesday for circulation the following week

Correspondence containing profanity or submitted anonymously will not be circulated.

Reference Committee Meetings

Stakeholders may request the opportunity to share communications as an Open Delegation at a Reference Committee meeting. Up to four Open Delegations may be heard each meeting.

Send your completed Open Delegation Request Form to Legislative & Court Services to request your Open Delegation. If you would like to include additional information, please contact Legislative & Court Services at (705) 739-4204.

As per Section 239 of the Municipal Act, 2001, an Open Delegation request may be refused if the topic relates to a subject matter that permits a meeting or part of a meeting to be closed to the public, promotes a specific business, is not of community interest or may impugn the reputation of any individual or member.

Open Delegation Guidelines:

  • Speakers have five minutes maximum
  • Speak only about the matter listed on your request
  • Supporting documents should be received by 12pm (noon) the Tuesday prior to the meeting
  • Do not use profanity, offensive words or insulting expressions
  • Do not question the reputation of any individual member
  • Individuals are entitled to appear as a delegate once every three months

At the discretion of the Reference Committee meeting Chair, the floor may be opened to community attendees who wish to speak regarding a meeting agenda item.

General Committee Meetings

Anyone may share communications about topics listed under the ‘Public Meeting’ section of a General Committee meeting agenda (posted every Thursday and promoted via This Week in Barrie, the City’s social media channels and e-bulletins).

Public Meetings are provincially legislated for certain applications (i.e. Planning Act). At Public Meetings, applicants and City staff provide details of the proposed application. The public then has an opportunity to present their comments regarding the application.

City staff gather communications shared at Public Meetings and prepare a report containing recommendations to be heard at a future General Committee meeting. The General Committee will then discuss the report and make recommendations for Council to consider at the next City Council meeting.

Public Meeting Guidelines:

  • Individuals do not need to register prior to the meeting
  • Organized groups should consider designating a spokesperson
  • Multiple individuals speaking on the same issue should avoid repetition and provide new information only

Under the Planning Act if you do not express your views at a Public Meeting before a decision is made, the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) may refuse your request for referral, or dismiss all or part of your appeal without holding a hearing.

City Council Meetings

Interested citizens may communicate with Council by making a presentation or Deputation at a City Council meeting.

Presentation

Individuals and community groups can make a presentation at City Council meetings to share community announcements, status reports, initiatives, programs or services. Up to three presentations may be heard at each meeting. Complete a Presentation Request Form at least two weeks before the proposed presentation date.

Your request will be included on the Circulation List for consideration. If the request is approved, you will be notified by the Legislative & Court Services Department to confirm a date for the presentation or to be advised of Council’s decision.

Deputation

Individuals in opposition to a motion made at the previous General Committee meeting may request to make a Deputation. This requires a completed Deputation Request Form or a written submission to the City Clerk that:

  • Addresses to the Mayor and Members of Council.
  • Clearly indicates you wish to make a Deputation to City Council in opposition to the matter, describing the nature of your opposition as concisely as possible.
  • Includes a cover letter with your complete mailing address, e-mail address, home and business phone numbers.
  • Only includes information you wish to be on public record.
  • Received before 12pm (noon) on the Wednesday before the City Council meeting.

City Council will make a decision regarding the motion later in the meeting. If requested, you will be notified of the issue’s outcome in writing.

Deputations Received after the Deadline

In the event a Deputation request is received after the Council agenda has been prepared and published, or in an emergency, an individual may still request the opportunity to appear before City Council in opposition to a recommendation from General Committee. In this case, please contact the City Clerk at (705) 739-4204 or cityclerks@barrie.ca

The City Clerk will notify the Mayor and the Mayor will call for a vote of Council at the meeting to allow the person to speak. Upon a majority vote in the affirmative, the person will be permitted to address Council.

If you prefer not to make a deputation, your comments can be submitted in writing and will be placed on the Circulation List for Council’s consideration. 

Presentation and Deputation Guidelines

  • Individuals have 10 minutes maximum
  • Supporting documents must be received on or before 12pm (noon) on the Wednesday prior to the meeting
  • Electronic presentations must be submitted at least 48 hours in advance (12 slides maximum), otherwise it will not be permitted
  • Direct your communications to the Chair
  • All communications should be confined to the stated business
  • Organized groups should consider designating a spokesperson
  • Multiple individuals speaking on the same issue should avoid repetition and provide new information only

All City Council meetings are open to the public and the media, and as such, your comments may be reported in the news.

All formal communication requests must be directed to the Legislative & Court Services Department.

For more information on the formal communication methods listed above, please see the Guide to Communicating with City Council or contact Legislative & Court Services at (705) 739-4204 or cityclerks@barrie.ca.



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