Procedural By-law Review

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We’re reviewing our Procedural By-law. The By-law is a set structure that guides processes for Council and committee meetings to carry out the business of the City. Some of the things the bylaw outlines includes: how Council members cast their votes, how late Council meetings can run, conduct for Council, how residents delegate and interact with Council and how public meetings are communicated to residents.

We want to know how you feel about:

  • Participation in Council meetings such as delegation, presentations, written submissions and petitions and electronic participation in meetings.
  • Council being able to vote by proxy if they are absent from a meeting.
  • Any other parts of the By-law you think can be improved.

How your feedback will be used:

Results of the Community engagement will be considered along side an analysis of comparator community practices and guided by the expertise of City staff with the goals of:

  • Creating effective and efficient meetings
  • Providing clarity and ease of participation for the public

Following a review of community feedback, a new Procedural By-law will be drafted. This draft will be shared prior to presentation to Council with interested participants who sign up at the end of the survey or who contact the City Clerk's Office directly.

A final report will be presented to Council on March 22, 2021.


About proxy voting

A change to provincial legislation by the Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing gives municipalities the flexibility to decide whether another member of Council can vote on behalf of an absent councillor. The change was made in July 2020.


We’re reviewing our Procedural By-law. The By-law is a set structure that guides processes for Council and committee meetings to carry out the business of the City. Some of the things the bylaw outlines includes: how Council members cast their votes, how late Council meetings can run, conduct for Council, how residents delegate and interact with Council and how public meetings are communicated to residents.

We want to know how you feel about:

  • Participation in Council meetings such as delegation, presentations, written submissions and petitions and electronic participation in meetings.
  • Council being able to vote by proxy if they are absent from a meeting.
  • Any other parts of the By-law you think can be improved.

How your feedback will be used:

Results of the Community engagement will be considered along side an analysis of comparator community practices and guided by the expertise of City staff with the goals of:

  • Creating effective and efficient meetings
  • Providing clarity and ease of participation for the public

Following a review of community feedback, a new Procedural By-law will be drafted. This draft will be shared prior to presentation to Council with interested participants who sign up at the end of the survey or who contact the City Clerk's Office directly.

A final report will be presented to Council on March 22, 2021.


About proxy voting

A change to provincial legislation by the Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing gives municipalities the flexibility to decide whether another member of Council can vote on behalf of an absent councillor. The change was made in July 2020.


  • Section 238 (2) of the Municipal Act requires that every municipality pass a Procedural By-law to govern the calling, place and proceedings of meetings. As part of it’s 2021 Governance Review, the City Clerk’s Office is undertaking a review of Guelph’s current Procedural By-law to explore ways to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of meetings.

    We are looking for your input on:

    1. Sections of the by-law related to public participation at Council and committee meetings, including delegations and public presentations, written submissions and petitions, and electronic participation in meetings
    2. The option for members of Council to vote by proxy if they are absent from a meeting
    3. Any other sections of the by-law you think can be improved

    In this survey, where a specific section of the Bylaw is referenced, the text from that section of the bylaw is provided.  Please refer to the complete Procedural By-law to make reference to other sections and subsections you may wish to provide feedback on.

    This survey should take approximately 10-20 minutes to complete depending on the depth of feedback you provide. Please note that all questions in this survey are optional and may be skipped at any time. 

    At the end of the survey you will be invited to sign up through separate form to receive a copy of the draft By-law to review before it is published on March 11.  Your responses will remain anonymous.

    Take Survey
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