How City Government Works
The City of Ottawa has a 24-member Council composed of the Mayor, representing the City as a whole, and 23 Councillors. The Councillors represent 23 wards within the City of Ottawa. Members of Council are elected for a 4-year term of office.
City Council is the decision-making body responsible for turning community needs into municipal services -- from human services, such as social services and housing, to hard services, like roads and waste management.
To assist it in its deliberations, City Council appoints Standing Committees to study issues and to make recommendations to Council. These Standing Committees are comprised solely of elected representatives. It is at the Standing Committee level where residents can make presentations to express their views. Most decisions made by Standing Committees require final approval by City Council.
Ottawa Standing Committees
- Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee
- Community and Protective Services Committee
- Environment Committee
- Finance and Economic Development Committee
- Planning Committee
- Transit Commission
- Transportation Committee
Source: City of Ottawa, website
City Council usually meets at 10 a.m. on the second and fourth Wednesdays of each month, except in March, July, August and December. Special Council meetings, Committees-of-the-whole, are called as needed, especially at budget time. All meetings are held at City Hall.
Council and standing committee meetings are advertised in the City page in Friday's edition of Ottawa's daily newspapers, as well as on the city website. For more information, contact a Committee Coordinator, listed on the city web-site.
Council and standing committee meetings are open to the public, unless an in-camera session is called.
- You can sit in the public gallery to observe
- You can watch on Rogers Television cable 22. (Rogers télé-communautaire 23, en français).
You can also view meetings live on the city website
Sign up now to receive your City Council Update via e-mail, within days of every Council meeting. It's simple to register for this free service, and just as easy to unregister if you so choose.
The City of Ottawa also has advisory committees, composed entirely of volunteers, who provide advice to City Council on specifically mandated areas of interest. These committees contribute to the development of policies, programs and initiatives that enhance Ottawa's quality of life.
To serve on a City advisory committee, an individual must be at least 18 years of age (with the exception of the Ottawa Youth Cabinet) and a resident of the City Ottawa.
- Arts, Heritage and Culture
- Equity and Diversity
- French Language Services
- Health and Social Services
- Ottawa Built Heritage
- Ottawa Forests and Greenspace
- Parks and Recreation
- Pedestrian and Transit
- Poverty Issues
- Roads and Cycling
- Rural Issues
for the main administrative structure of the City click here
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