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Communicating with Council and Committees

The Municipality of Hastings Highlands is committed to open and accessible government.  Council encourages public participation in its decision-making process.

There are several ways to communicate with Council:

The Municipality values citizen and stakeholder views and encourages all citizens to share these with Council and Committees of Council in a respectful and open manner. Opinions and concerns can be communicated through the following channels.

Is Your Concern…A Customer Service Request? OR A Matter For Council? – Poster

Delegations and Presentations

Delegates will have the opportunity to complete their delegation in person or by Zoom. If your delegation request is approved and you choose to attend by Zoom you will be sent the invitation link to the Zoom meeting on the Monday, the week of the meeting. Meetings are held in Council Chambers located in the Municipal Office building at 33011 Hwy 62, Maynooth, ON.

Delegations are opportunities for members of the public to make brief presentations to Council or a Committee of Council about your issue. The time limit is 10 minutes.

Presentations are reserved for when Council/Committee has invited a person/group/organization etc. to appear before Council or a Committee of Council. The time limit is 15 minutes, unless prearrangements have been made with the Clerk for an organization that has requested more time due to the nature of the subject matter eg. Algonquin Land Claim review.

To speak as a delegation at a Council or Committee meeting please complete the form below by the appropriate deadline noted in the FAQ section. 

Anyone wishing to make a delegation to Council is required to complete a “Request For a Delegation Form” form and submit it to the Municipal Clerk, who will advise the date and time to make the delegation. Applications must be submitted by 4:00 p.m. on the Monday the week prior to the Council Meeting, (approx. 9 days prior) along with any documentation or speaking notes for inclusion in the distributed Council agenda. (If the Monday is a statutory holiday, then the deadline is the previous Friday, by 4:00 p.m.)

Request for a Delegation Form
Please contact the Municipal Clerk at 613-338-2811 ext. 277  [email protected]

Petition

A petition is a document presented by the community to Council to voice their opinion on an issue of municipal importance. It is one of the best ways to express support of a matter to Council, however petition organizers should be diligent to fulfill the petition requirements to ensure their petition is considered valid before Council.

Petition Requirements

Petitions must contain:

  • at least 25 original signatures
  • the ‘petition request’ at the top of each page of signatures
  • no electronic web-based documents
  • contact information for each signer
  • contact information for the organizer of the petition

Using the Petition Template prepared by the Clerk’s Office is a good way to ensure your petition contains everything required.

The Clerk will refuse to put a petition on the agenda where the petition request:

  • involves current or pending litigation;
  • involves insurance claims;
  • involves administrative complaints that have not been reported and investigated through the administrative process;
  • is beyond the jurisdiction of Council; or
  • is contrary to the provisions of the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act

Petiton Instructions and Template
Petition Template (PDF/Fillable)
Petition Template (Word Document)

Petition Procedure

Petitions are to be delivered to the Clerk’s Office ([email protected]) or 33011 Hwy 62N, Maynooth) by 4:00 p.m. on the day that is 9 days prior to the scheduled Council Meeting. This ensures Clerk’s Department has enough time to place it on the agenda, and to ensure the validity of the petition. Late petitions will be placed on the next available Council meeting, with few exceptions.

Correspondence

Correspondence Includes but is not limited to the following: Letter, memorandum, report, notice, electronic mail, facsimile, petition, brochure, media release, newspaper/magazine article, etc. The agenda may, at the request of the writer, include those pieces of external correspondence addressed to Council/Committee, the Mayor, the Clerk or any other staff member that are intended to be brought to the formal attention of the Council, and may be received for information. All correspondence will be approved and placed on the Agenda at the discretion of the Clerk, in consideration of correspondence requirements and items accepted. There will be no expectation/requirement for Council/Committee to comment on, or answer questions contained in correspondence items. Furthermore, the Council/Committee’s receipt of correspondence does not constitute endorsement of the correspondence by the Municipality of any recommendations it may contain or actions it may advocate.

Correspondence Requirements

  • Correspondence shall be submitted in accordance with the timelines defined below;
  • Correspondence must be legible and in an accessible electronic format, where able;
  • Correspondence that has been sent to Council and is intended to appear on an upcoming agenda shall be forwarded by the writer to the Clerk at [email protected] for consideration.

Public Comment Period

Members of the public may comment or ask questions to Council or Committee, through the Chair, without debate or criticism in regards to a staff report, Council or Committee report or bylaw listed on the agenda. These comments or questions may be sent in writing to the attention of the Municipal Clerk before or during a meeting and will be received by Council. In consideration of time restraints, electronic comments are limited to 250 words. Should technology permit, the public can provide verbal comments or questions via Zoom. There will be no expectation/requirement for Council or Committee to reply to each comment or question. This portion of the Agenda should not exceed a total of Fifteen (15) minutes. Questions and Comments cannot be recorded in the minutes as per the Municipal Act, 2001, S.O. 2001 c. 25, Section 228 (1)(a).

Submission Deadline(s)

  • for a Regular Meeting of Council – Monday – Nine (9) days prior to the Meeting Date by Four o’clock (4:00 p.m.)*
  • for a Committee Meeting of Council – Nine (9) days prior to the Meeting Date by Four o’clock (4:00 p.m.)*
  • *Statutory Holiday(s) – If the Monday is a statutory holiday, then the deadline will be the previous Friday. If that Friday is also a statutory holiday, as in the case with Good Friday, then the deadline is the Thursday before Good Friday.

Please review Section 12.3.21.2 ‘Correspondence – Items Not Placed on the Agenda’ in the Municipality’s Procedure Bylaw for occasions when correspondence is not placed on the Agenda.

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