Speak to City Council

An important component of  city planning is the public hearing process. As part of the WEN Cafe’ Series, a session was held on speaking to City Council. This topic focuses on the procedures as well as how to speak effectively to planning motions and rezoning proposals at public hearings. This topic covers:

  • The purpose of a city public hearing
  • How to register to speak at a public hearing
  • What happens during and after the hearing
  • The rights and priviledges of speakers and councillors at a public hearing
  • How to effectively speak at a public hearing
  • Preparing speeches on important topics

During the Cafe’ sessions, participants prepared sample speeches to address concerns about the 1401 Comox development application. These samples are designed to help you to prepare a speech for and future hearing.

Samples Speeches

Generic speech
Affordability speech
Diversity of Neighbourhood speech
Our Greenspace speech
Livability speech
Physical & Economic Incompatibility speech
Voter Turn Off speech

Previous Speakers at Vancouver City Hall

There are many ways to present to Vancouver City Council. These are some examples of ways speakers have handled it in the past. The speakers either spoke at the December 10th, 2009 rezoning hearing for 1215 Bidwell Street, or the April 8th, 2010 motion for neighbourhood transparency.

Parts of the speakers’ speeches have been spliced together for brevity. These segments have been chosen because they demonstrate a variety of ways to address the issues.

From the Heart is a personal account about the emotions the speaker feels when thinking about the effects of a neighbouring high-rise development. At times the speaker is almost playful in her choice of words.

Growing Confidence shows the speaker getting more sure of herself as she makes her speech.  She demonstrates that it is perfectly acceptable to read a speech and that public speaking can be empowering.

While trying to convince the opposition to consider one’s view point, the speaker in Persistent Politeness demonstrates the effectiveness of being polite yet persistent at the same time.

Councillors May Ask Questions shows dialogue between the speaker and a councillor.  Note that the speaker says, “I am not an expert.”  It is important to know that the speaker has the right to decline questions from councillors.

The speaker in Direct Eye Contact and Communication has excellent abilities to engage the audience.

These video-clips show that every speaker is unique, with a certain style. There is no formula for speaking to council, only that you need to follow the protocol, be prepared, and have the courage to voice an opinion publicly.

Official tips on speaking to City Council: Click here.
Official info on Vancouver public hearings: Click here.

Contact the Mayor and City Councillors if you have concerns.

Mayor Gregor Robertson 604.873.7621 gregor.robertson@vancouver.ca

Councillor George Affleck 604.873.7248 clraffleck@vancouver.ca
Councillor Elizabeth Ball  604.873.7240  clrball@vancouver.ca
Adriane Carr  604.873.7245  clrcarr@vancouver.ca
Councillor Heather Deal 604.873.7242 clrdeal@vancouver.ca
Councillor Kerry Jang 604.873.7246 clrjang@vancouver.ca
Councillor Raymond Louie 604.873.7243 clrlouie@vancouver.ca
Councillor Geoff Meggs 604.873.7249 clrmeggs@vancouver.ca
Councillor Andrea Reimer 604.873.7241 clrreimer@vancouver.ca
Councillor Tim Stevenson 604.873.7247 clrstevenson@vancouver.ca
Councillor Tony Tang 604.873.7244 clrtang@vancouver.ca

Vancouver City Hall

453 West 12th Avenue
Vancouver, BC, V5Y 1V4
Phone: 604-873-7011
E-mail: info@vancouver.ca.
Web Site: http://vancouver.ca/