Writing to Council, appearing before Council,
and viewing meetings online
Writing to Council
1. Address your Letter “To Mayor and Council”
Both on the subject line of your email and on the letter itself. Otherwise, it won’t make it onto the Council meeting agenda, and who knows what will happen? If you snail-mail, make sure the written envelope and letter inside
are addressed that same way.
2. Keep it Short
A concise letter works best for everybody.
3. Use Your Own Words
We can all write about the same things (examples are offered below), but if all the submissions read the same they’ll be cast aside as manufactured form letters.
4. Be polite and respectful (even if you feel differently!)
5. Start with a brief introduction
Where you live, perhaps why you chose to live here, and the subject of your concern.
Examples of common concerns:
"As a resident I feel my views, and those of the community, are not being valued,
while other interests are highlighted and actively pursued."
"The OCP should reflect the values and vision of the residents of North Saanich,
not outside interests."
"The draft OCP puts its emphasis on urban development."
"The community survey identified the desire to plan for other issues,
including agriculture and climate change, rather than housing."
"The community’s elected representatives (the Council) should exert more influence in guiding the OCP process rather than delegating decisions to staff."
7. Ask for a response to a specific question or
suggested Council action
"Please stop the OCP review until the pandemic restrictions have been lifted."
"Please reframe the OCP review so that the only stakeholders involved are
residents and local businesses, as well as our indigenous neighbours."
"Please examine our current OCP and determine whether it needs replacing at all."
8. Thank Council for its time and attention
9. Sign with your name and address
Don't worry, your address will be marked-out before publication
Subject line: To Mayor and Council
Letter mail to:
Mayor and Council, 1620 Mills Road, North Saanich V8L 5S9
If you wish, you can also email individual Councillors or give them a phone call;
their email addresses and phone numbers are here.
Remember that letters must be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org and addressed
“To Mayor and Council” to appear on the Council agenda.
Speaking at a Council meeting via Zoom
If you would like to sign up to speak to your letter, or to any other topic on the agenda at the meeting (via zoom), Send an email to email@example.com by noon on the day of the meeting , stating that you would like to speak during the public participation period. They will respond with instructions.
You must begin by stating your name and address.
You will have only three minutes to speak, unless council chooses to extend your time (not likely on evenings where there is a lot on the agenda, or lots of speakers lined up.)
There is no dialogue with Council or Staff allowed during the public participation period - it is simply an opportunity to make a three-minute speech.
Sending a pre-recorded voice submission
To have your voice recording played as part of the public participation period:
1. Open the "voice recorder" app on your phone
2. State your name and address,
3. Say whatever you wish to say, in three minutes or less.
4. Send the file (which should have automatically saved in MP4 format) to firstname.lastname@example.org by noon the day before the meeting.
(Usually the deadline for public participation is noon the day of the meeting, but corporate services has indicated that they would like voice recordings a little bit earlier in order to ensure that the file format will play properly on their system.)
Watching a Council meeting
Council meetings are broadcasted live, and you can also watch them afterwards.