Residents affected by proposed rezonings, policies, and by-law amendments can speak at a committee meeting or Public Hearing.
You have two options for sharing your ideas with the Mayor and Council about a public hearing topic. You can give a short speech or send written comments to the City. You may select one or both options.
However, speaking in person at a public hearing does have more of an impact on decisions made by politicians when compared to sending in written comments.
If you are able to be at City Hall, please sign up to speak. See the Short Speech Option below for an example of a speech that will take one minute of your time to read. You can also go to Sample Speech & Topics for more detailed examples of speeches you can use.
Sign up to speak
You can sign up to speak at this email address firstname.lastname@example.org or call 604 – 829 – 4238. To speak at the Comox Public Hearing, you must contact the City before 5:00 pm on Monday, June 11, 2012. You may also register in person at the door before the Hearing. Provide your first and last name, contact phone number, and mention the agenda number and item for the specified date. The chair should also make a last call for speakers after the last registered speaker at the meeting.
Send Written Comments
If you are not able to attend the Public Hearing on Monday, June 11th, send in written comments in an email addressed to email@example.com or in the regular mail to Mayor and Council, City of Vancouver, 453 West 12th Avenue, Vancouver, BC, V5Y 1V4 . Your comments must not exceed 1500 words.
Give your first and last name when sending comments for a public hearing. Details about your home address are not required unless you want the Mayor and Council to know where you live.
When you speak
If you sign up to speak, the chairperson (who may or may not be the Mayor) for the public hearing will identify your speaker number and your name when it is your turn to speak.
If you want the Mayor and Councillors to know that you are a resident of the West End when you speak or send written comments, you can give a general indication of where you live. For example, “I am a resident of the West End” or “I live in a building close to 1401 Comox Street.” An exact street address is not required.
Official tips on speaking to City Council are here.
Official info on Vancouver public hearings is here.
If you’re busy and cannot afford to wait hours for your chance to speak, before going to City Hall, Call 311 and ask for the City Clerk’s Office and ask where the meeting is on the agenda. You can time your arrival accordingly. Residents have been known to wait for 8 hours or more for a chance to speak for 5 minutes, so this one little phone call could save you a LOT of time.
When you arrive for an evening meeting, push the unmarked button on the left at the front door of City Hall for the security guard to let you enter and go to the Council Chambers on the third floor. (Don’t let the large “closed” signs fool you.)
Anyone who cannot attend can watch live by Internet. You can also replay the recorded video the next day on your computer. Or watch by Shaw cable on later days. Click here for more information.
Your speech or written comments are important
When you participate in the Comox Public Hearing, you will be speaking to the Mayor and 10 Councillors as a resident or a visitor who cares about the West End as one of Vancouver’s mature neighbourhoods. As a speaker, you have only five minutes to speak and you may only speak once, so it is important to organize your ideas.
The Mayor, Gregor Robertson and 7 of the 10 Councillors are members of Vision Vancouver. These Councillors include, Geoff Meggs, Andrea Reimer, Heather Deal, Kerry Jang, Raymond Louie, Tony Tang and Tim Stevenson. Councillors, George Affleck and Elizabeth Ball are members of the Non-Partisan Association (NPA). Councillor Adrian Carr is a member of the Green Party. Only Councillors Tim Stevenson and Adrian Carr live in the West End.
The 1401 Comox Public Hearing is an opportunity to present your concerns about the current development proposal at 1401 Comox Street. In addition, by participating in the Public Hearing as a speaker or a writer, you can let municipal politicians know some of your thoughts and expectations about the City of Vancouver’s current work on the West End Community Plan and the Mayor’s Task Force on Housing Affordability.
Tips on how to prepare a short speech or written comments
There are basically two types of speeches that you can make at the 1401 Comox Public Hearing.
One speech is brief and composed of two key statements but addresses the main problems associated with the development proposal.
The other speech is 5 minutes in length and has a beginning, a middle and a conclusion.
Short Speech Option
If you are not comfortable speaking in public, you can read the following statement:
“I oppose the proposed development at 1401 Comox Street. I believe the density is too high for this site, and the proposed building will damage the character of the West End. I ask that Council reject this proposal and send the developer back to re-design the project with a lower density that can preserve neighbourhood character and livability in the West End.”
Longer Speech Option
See Sample Speech & Topics for a speech that includes a beginning, a summary of the main issues, an outline of some of the 20 different potential issues related to the development proposal and a conclusion at the end.
Once you have given the reasons for any of your concerns, you can end the speech or written comments by summarizing the information in your conclusion.
Samples videos of residents speaking to City Council
There are examples of people giving speeches on different issues to City Council here.