The Corporation of the Town of Oakville (town) values and encourages public engagement and is committed to open two-way communication to develop and deliver quality programs and services that meet the needs of the community.
The town shall give public notice in accordance with the Public Engagement procedure attached to this policy and as required by applicable statute or regulation.
The purpose of this policy is to establish procedures for public notice and engagement that promote open and transparent governance of the town.
Public Notice and Engagement Guiding Principles
The town’s commitment to public engagement shall include the following guiding principles:
- Inclusion and mutual respect — ensuring public notice and engagement is based on building trust and relationships that seek to involve all members of the community.
- Open two-way communication — working with the community in a co-operative and collaborative way to share information and provide opportunities for open and constructive dialogue.
- Early involvement and timely communication — communicating as early as possible in the engagement process and ensuring information is available in a timely manner so the community can actively participate.
- Clear and accessible communication — ensuring the use of plain language and a wide variety of formats and channels of communication.
- Fiscally sustainable — ensuring methods and resources for public notice and engagement reflect the magnitude and complexity of the initiative.
- Transparent and accountable — sharing information and having open public engagement processes, final decisions and outcomes.
- Environmentally sustainable — ensuring environmentally friendly public notice and engagement methods.
- Continuous improvement — evaluating and seeking better ways of engaging the community and providing efficient and effective public notice and engagement processes.
This policy applies to all types of public notice and engagement, which may be influenced by legislation, cost, emergency situation, timeframes, geographic area of impact, types of notification and degree of potential impact on affected parties.
This policy shall apply except where:
- The subject matter is deemed minor in nature and Council has authorized that no public notice is required;
- Where authorized, Council directs an alternative form of public notice as Council considers appropriate to give reasonable notice under the provision of any statute or regulation; or
- The Mayor in consultation with the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) determines that notice should be waived due to emergency, urgency or time sensitivity situations or situations which could affect the health and well being of the residents of Oakville, or is a State of Emergency is declared, or if so advised by a provincial ministry.
Council shall be informed by email if an exemption is applied.
Community: represents the most general and inclusive term for participants of public engagement in the municipal context. This term includes but is not limited to residents, individuals, business, not-for-profit organizations, stakeholders, community and corporate organizations.
Public engagement: represents the various methods by which information is exchanged with the Oakville community. Types of public engagement include but are not limited to online channels, public meetings, open houses, focus groups and surveys.