1. WHAT: Speak to an item on the agenda. Be clear about what you want to say.
Do you want to communicate approval or disapproval of an agenda item?
2. WHO: Anyone can do a deputation as long as you sign up.
- You must sign up at least a day before the meeting.
- Email or call the contact the secretariat and let them know your name (and your organization) and the agenda item you will be speaking to.
- Your experience as a community member is very important since you are able to talk about the actual lived impacts of policies/programs or lack of policies/programs.
3. WHEN & WHERE
- The date and time for the committee is scheduled in advance. Each committee usually meets once a month at the same time.
- Pre-COVID, committees usually met at City Hall or Civic Centres in committee rooms and individuals giving a deputation are put on a speakers’ list and called to speak by the chair.
- Deputations usually take place at the start of each agenda item.
- During COVID, deputations are being done by telephone. When you register by email or by phone, the secretariat will inform you about the steps to call into the meeting.
- You can watch City Council meetings here.
4. HOW: What is the most effective way to communicate what you want to say?
- >Prepare your deputation.
- Include your name (and your organization if you are contacting on behalf of a group)
- State what you would like to speak to about the agenda item.
- Give reasons that help explain your position. Speak from your expertise including your lived experiences, what community members say, what you have seen, etc. Be expressive and aim to capture the attention of your listeners.
- Practice your deputation.
- Deputations are usually 5 minutes (and sometimes 3 minutes if there is a long list of speakers).
- It is helpful to have notes on hand and practice so that you can say what you want to say in the allotted time.
- Sample deputation
- Sample deputation
- Tips: Dos & Don’ts
- DO be respectful.
- DO include personal experiences to explain why this agenda item is important to you and how it affects your life.
- DO try to capture the attention of city councillors and city staff.
- DON’T make your deputation too long, too wordy and too filled with statistics.
- DON’T get off-topic. Stick to the objectives of your deputation.
- DON’T insult the committee members.
Why it's useful to do a deputation
- You draw attention to a problem that is not being addressed. Politicians can only address matters they know
about. Contacting a politician might help to save people’s lives or create positive change.
- You show support or disapproval for an idea.