Public commentary will resume in Leduc on Nov. 27
Public commentary during city council meetings in Leduc will resume on Nov. 27 after City Council approved amendments to the Council Procedures Bylaw on Nov. 20 that clearly identify the purpose of public commentary and rules for how it will operate. The complete Council Procedures Bylaw can be found on Leduc.ca.
The Purpose of Public Commentary (Section 8a)
The purpose of public commentary is to allow people an opportunity to come before Council during a council meeting to address Council on a matter pertaining to city business, in an abbreviated and less formal manner than would otherwise be more appropriate for a public presentation. The rules of public presentations are outlined in Section 7 of the Council Procedure Bylaw.
Rules of Public Commentary (Section 8b–g)
Overall, the public can register for public commentary immediately prior to the meeting, upon arrival. Pre-registration is not required. A five-minute time limit has been established. Inappropriate topics for public commentary are identified and the chair may interrupt or end public commentary in those instances.
- You must provide your name, phone number and/or email address (if applicable), home/property address, the date requested to speak and the topic you plan to speak about. This information can be provided to the City Clerk immediately prior to the meeting or in advance by email to email@example.com.
The chair of the meeting may reject requests to make public comment, interrupt or end a public commentary presentation if the subject matter discussed or to be discussed:
- Promotes harassment or discrimination against an individual or group;
- Singles out an individual member(s) of City of Leduc staff;
- Is an unreasonable invasion of a third party’s personal privacy as per the FOIP Act;
- Is contrary to the values enshrined in the Candian Charter of Rights and Freedoms;
- Is against public decency;
- Is related to an unresolved legal matter involving the City; or
- Is not relevant to city business or matters of public interest.
- A public commentary presentation may also be rejected, interrupted and/or stopped if the subject matter is an agenda item for that council meeting.
- The speaker may only speak to their registered topic. If they speak to an unrelated topic, the chair may ask them to return to their registered topic. If they fail to do so, they may be required to end their commentary and may be removed from Council Chambers for the remainder of the meeting.
- Public commentary will be verbal only. Audio-visuals will not be permitted.
- A public commentary presentation may not exceed five minutes in length unless allowed by the chair.
- Council may by motion change the rules of public commentary at any time to allow a person to present to Council who otherwise would not be permitted.
Before approving amendments to the bylaw, City Council received public input on the topic and debated the proposed amendments. Public input was focused on maintaining an open and welcoming environment for people wishing to speak to Council about city business and protecting the opportunity to speak freely and informally to Council. Input was received in-person and by written submission.
A video of the meeting and public input session on Nov. 20 is available online.
Public commentary had been suspended since late June when members of Council and City staff were threatened and harassed during this portion of the meeting. Shortly after, Leduc RCMP stated the meeting format, as it was, did not guarantee the safety of Council and City staff. Since that time, Council has discussed bringing public commentary back in a way that balances opportunities for the public to speak directly to Council and ensuring safety for all.
In July, Council also directed Administration to conduct a security assessment of Council Chambers. The security assessment has not yet been completed.