Document 8

EAC INPUT: Fall 2010 Governance Review

October 25, 2010


The Environmental Advisory Committee would like to thank the City for providing us the opportunity to provide input into the City's Governance Review. EAC has organized its comments in the following order: 1) General Governance; 2) Budgetary Issues, 3) Information Technology/Governance 2.0 considerations;  4) Reserve Members;  and 5) Comments provided for the Mid-Term Governance review which still have relevance.


The EAC is pleased to provide the following comments:


1. General Governance:


·         Reinstate councillor ex-officio members to Advisory Committees to improve the quality and effectiveness of Advisory Committees and the advice they provide. Alternately, making Advisory Committee liaison a part of the job package for the .5 FTE working for Standing Committee Chairs (on ‘Chair’ related business) would itself be an enormous help.  In many municipalities across Ontario, sitting Councillors are key members or ex-officio members of Advisory Committees.


If this is not possible EAC recommends that a consultative mechanism be created whereby Advisory Committee members can regularly access and consult Councillors/Mayor's office (EAC has started what we hope to be an ongoing quarterly meeting with key councillors and staff). We have begun ‘Quarterly meetings’ with the Chair and members of PEC but would be open to other and more such mechanisms.


·         In order to keep costs down and make the Advisory Committee Structure more effective, EAC recommends reducing the number of Advisory Committees from 15 to a more manageable number. This would help the Advisory Committees prioritize key issues and provide more direct points of contact for councillors and staff.


·         Public consultations (section of website). The EAC would be interested in being given advance notice of upcoming consultations in areas of our mandate, perhaps through the staff update function at our meetings or other alternatives. The point here is to encourage Advisory Committees to address city priorities (without constraining our individual interests) gives greater credibility to Advisory Committees in the municipal process.


·         Similar to the Public Consultation documents, the EAC would like to have the City explore ways of making the Development Application Review process more manageable and effective. The EAC stopped considering DARs in 2007 due to the volume of non-applicable DARs and a lack of credence given to EACs input. EAC would like to reengage in this process with respect to major developments however we would need the DARs provided well in advance of the due date for input and only for developments with significant environmental impacts (ie a condo in sandy hill is unlikely to warrant much in the way of a review however developments on the scale of the South March Highlands or Lansdowne Park etc are of great interest to us).


·         EAC fully supports the formation of the new Board of Health which we understand is to have an arms length relationship to Council and its Advisory Committees. It will be important to ensure public input is sought and received by the board on important public and environmental health issues.


Currently, both EAC and HHSAC have mandates to advise Council on health matters. EAC recommends that a channel of communications be established to replace the existing one, so that EAC can continue provide advice to Council and city staff regarding environmental health issues that affect the City of Ottawa.


2. Budgetary Issues:


·         EAC recommends Providing Advisory Committees with a small budget ($500-$1000 per year), similar to the situation prior to 2006, to cover registration and transport costs to attend relevant conferences or events sponsored by like-minded Advisory Committees and community Groups. The funds could be administered through the city clerk’s office and via Advisory Committee co-ordinators. As an alternative we could also consider a small percentage of the relevant departmental staff budget allocated to Advisory Committee operations. A budget could be allocated to each Advisory Committee or shared by all Advisory Committees.


Should this request be unable to be accommodated through existing resources we  recommend examining the possibility of phasing out parking vouchers and other financial incentives to Advisory Committee members and have those funds redirected to creating a fund which could provide each Advisory Committee a small budget for registration/transport costs to conferences (yearly meeting of provincial Advisory Committees is a good example).

3. Information Technology/Governance 2.0 considerations

·         EAC strongly recommends providing detailed public web pages on the City website for each Advisory Committee. Alternately, as the EAC currently has a website it would be great if the City could host this as part of its domain. If that is not possible, then providing a link to the EAC’s website in key locations within the domain would also be helpful (on the Advisory committee page and a visible location under the environment section perhaps).

·         EAC requests that the Advisory Committee webpage (ideally with web space dedicated to each Advisory Committee) be given its own tab-link on the homepage.

·         We further urge the city to consider changes in the rules of procedure governing Advisory Committees to allow for e-voting where a quorum number of votes is received by a certain date and only in exceptional circumstances where timing does not allow for issues to be considered at regular Advisory Committee meetings. 



4. Reserve Members:


·         EAC requests that the City consider reviewing the City of Ottawa's Advisory Committees' Participation Expense Corporate Policy for the purpose of extending it to include coverage of reserve members. However, as noted in the budget section above EAC would be willing to forgo any compensation (regular and reserve) if it meant we could be provided with a small budget to assist us in our work (see Budget section).

·         EAC believes that reserve members should be listed as "Present" or "Absent" under a specific heading and guest speakers/observers under "Others." Currently the EAC does this but it would be ideal if it could be made policy across the Advisory Committees to recognize the meaningful contributions made by reserve members.

·         Often is the case that individual reserve members distinguish themselves as invaluable resources to Committees.  If agreement between the Chair and Vice-chair can be reached, reserve members, irrespective of their position on the reserve list, can be appointed as voting member when a voting position becomes available.

5. Comments provided for the Mid-Term Governance review which still have relevance:

·         The concept of harmonizing the work plans of Advisory Committees with their relevant standing committee in order to make them more productive is a good one and EAC welcomes the opportunity to jointly set priorities with our main Standing Committees.

However, the proposal also raises some distinct concerns. Such a harmonization would limit the flexibility of the Advisory Committees to provide advice across the full spectrum of their mandate and may drive away highly motivated and qualified individuals resulting in less, and poorer quality, public input. In the case of the EAC our mandate is very clear that we are to assist in the recommendation and development of new policy areas as well as comment on existing ones.

Further, while the EAC and other committees will continue to be intrinsically linked to the priorities of Council and standing committees, limiting our official work plans to exactly the same priorities as those of the relevant standing committee would remove a key aspect of public input, and dilutes the purpose of the Advisory Committees. Moreover, the ability of citizen volunteer advisors to develop work plans that they believe are best suited to deliver on the approved mandate of the Advisory Committee would be called into question.  

Advisory Committees should be giving the ability to create work plan priorities which are consistent with their mandate but which may not be formal Standing Committee items. With such modifications we could support this proposal. 

·         With respect to having Advisory Committees seek the approval of standing committees to add issues to their work plans during the course of the year, it is our view that adding or removing items from a work plan developed and approved by an Advisory Committee and its members would remain a decision for that committee, and not a standing committee. The proposal would also add to the burdens of the relevant standing committee, as the mandate of many Advisory Committees encompasses a wide field of issues, which then lead to the emergence of numerous topical priorities, additional to a given work plan. We do not support this proposal.

·         The proposal presented last year during the mid-term governance review suggesting that Advisory Committees’ recommendations which are outside the mandate of the Advisory Committee and Council and not in line with Council's priorities be received as information is troubling. This proposal is unhelpful to both the Advisory Committees and councillors. 

First and foremost is the concern regarding how any given issue will be defined or considered beyond the mandate of the Advisory Committee, Council or city priorities. For Advisory Committees with broad mandates such as the EAC, such 'triage' raises the concern of having council or staff scope a given issue as being 'outside the mandate' for political expediency and ' within the mandate' and worthy of consideration only when convenient.

Further, automatically considering any recommendation by Advisory Committees as 'information' by standing committees (if deemed beyond the mandate or outside the priorities) deprives councillors of valuable advice and the opportunity to take action on that advice. We oppose this proposal as recommendations or action items from Advisory Committees should be dealt with on their merits by the relevant standing committees and council. It is up to those bodies, having duly considered the recommendations, to decide what course of action to take. It is also up to Advisory Committees themselves to decide if issues are within or are outside their mandate. 

·         EAC strongly supports the proposal for standing committees to refer specific projects or policy areas to Advisory Committees for input, provided this is done in a timely way and that the input sought is honestly, seriously, and regularly considered. One of the reasons why the EAC made the request to temporarily stop vetting development applications was due to the short turnaround times and high levels of effort required with little result when the advice was provided.  

·         Regarding the option of requiring more extensive qualifications for Advisory Committee members, we believe the current system has worked well for the EAC; however, we are open to learning more about what type of pre-requisites or qualifications might be useful to consider.  

·         In paper 2 of last year’s mid-term governance review, changes were proposed to delegate the selection of Advisory Committees members to standing committees. Currently Council appoints Advisory Committee members on the recommendation of standing committees. Is this process expected to change? If so why and would there be any change to the recruitment/selection process?

Once again EAC thanks the city for allowing us the opportunity to comment on the comprehensive governance white papers and hope that our comments may be useful in deciding how best to move forward.


Patrick Quealey                                                  Jason Pearman

Chair, Environmental Advisory Committee       Vice-Chair, Environmental Advisory Committee


M E M O   /   N O T E   D E   S E R V I C E



To / Destinataire

Rick O'Connor, City Clerk

Leslie Donnelly, Deputy City Clerk

File/N° de fichier:  

From / Expéditeur 

Coordinator, Ottawa Built Heritage Advisory Committee


Subject / Objet

Comments from the OBHAC with respect to the End-of-Term Council Governance Review

Date: 26 October 2010



Per discussions at the Advisory Committee Chairs and Vice Chairs meeting on City Governance matters on 29 September 2010, please find below the comments and suggestions of the Ottawa Built Heritage Advisory Committee (OBHAC) for inclusion in the forthcoming governance report:


  • The OBHAC requests that the position of Council liaisons to Advisory Committees be reinstated
  • The OBHAC will consider requesting informal quarterly (or periodic) meetings with the Chair of Planning and Environment Committee and other interested Councillors, as was initiated by the Environmental Advisory Committee earlier this year, as a means of improving information sharing, facilitating better dialogue, and fostering a healthy working relationship between the parties.
  • The OBAHC recommends that a greater number of reserve members be appointed to the committee during the City’s Advisory Committee recruitment processes and will work with the Selection Panel to achieve this goal.


Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions with respect to the above.


Thank you.

Melody Duffenais







Diane Blais, Acting Program Manager, Advisory Committees

Melanie Murdock, Officer, Research, CMO

Chris Mulholland, Chair, OBHAC




Seniors Advisory Committee (SAC)

Comments for the End-of-Term Governance Review



It is intended that the mandate of Advisory Committees is to advise Standing Committees and Council on matters within their jurisdiction – in our case seniors’ issues. In practice this is not working. We have seldom been asked for advice either by staff or Council. Our work has mostly been generated from within and we have had to push it up for recognition and implementation. When we do provide comment at Committee we are often sidelined with all other public input and our recommendations seem to be given little consideration.


Following are some comments which may help to make the Advisory Committee system more valuable for all concerned.


Number of Advisory Committees. There are too many and as a result their visibility and influence is marginalized. Reducing or merging the number to 10 or less will increase the profile and increase the likelihood of their being utilized by staff and Councillors. Fewer advisory committees would also necessitate fewer staff support and sub-committees could address specific issues.


Councillor as ex-officio member. Having a Councillor attached to each Advisory Committee would go a long way to making the system work better. It would provide a strong signal to Advisory Committee members that someone actually cares what they do. A councillor could be a mentor, advisor and liaison. He/she would help to keep the committee on track with the Strategic Direction of Council. A councillor could also influence the Strategic Direction for the following years to address specific concerns the advisory committees have raised. He/she would also be a friendly face when presentations are made to Standing Committees. The Councillor too would benefit by hearing first hand of issues and concerns and also learn the various staff presentations. Please do not take this option “off the table”.


Staff Reports. The staff report template should have a check off box to indicate that the appropriate Advisory Committee has been advised/consulted. If there is a comment from the Committee it should be included as a paragraph in the report.


Meeting with Standing Committee Chairs. There should be regular quarterly meetings with the chairs/vice chairs of Advisory Committees and their respective Standing Committee chairs/vice chairs.


Annual report and work plan. These were suspended for the past two years and should be resurrected for presentation to the respective Standing Committee early in the new year. It would be of benefit to the Standing Committee and the Advisory Committee.


City Strategic Plan. Advisory Committees should be consulted by their respective Standing Committee for issues which should be included in the new Strategic Plan.


Recruitment. After the last process we were never up to strength as we had no reserves and lost a member before she started. There should be more advertising so that there will be a larger applicant pool. Each committee should have 3 reserve members as attrition is very high.


Member Term. Currently it is intended to stagger the terms so that there is continuity within the Committee from year to year. However, having some members for only a single year is difficult, as it takes that long to become familiar. As such, it is recommended that the minimum term be for two years with others for 3 and 4 years.


Staff Representation. A senior staff member should be assigned responsibility for each committee to provide advice and liaison.


Committee Terms of Reference. Most terms of reference need to be re-written to reflect organizational changes, membership requirements and mandate. In fact they should be reviewed annually.



M E M O   /   N O T E   D E   S E R V I C E



To / Destinataire

Rick O'Connor, City Clerk

Leslie Donnelly, Deputy City Clerk


File/N° de fichier: 

From / Expéditeur 

Carole Langford,

Coordinator, Accessibility Advisory Committee



Subject / Objet

End of Term Governance Review


Date: 27 October 2010


The Accessibility Advisory Committee (AAC), at its meeting of 20 October 2010, had an opportunity to receive a brief summary of the Chairs and Vice-Chairs meeting that was held on 29 September.  AAC also discussed governance and provided the following comments:


·         Consideration of a mid-term recruitment if the membership reduces drastically.

o   Persons with disabilities are likely to have more health issues than persons without disabilities. This year, AAC lost a number of members due to health reasons.

o   Also, consideration should be given in an election year as members tend to get involved not only to do their part but to make a few extra dollars.


·         Eliminate the policy to terminate a member if he/she misses three consecutive meetings or 30 per cent of scheduled meetings.

o   The AAC committee meets every month as opposed to some committees that meet every second month. - Again, with the same reasons listed above, members’ attrition rate can be high and there is a need to keep good qualified members on the committee.  A member of the AAC who is away for a two-month holiday could lose their position as they would be missing two consecutive meetings whereas if the same member were on another committee which only met every second month would have missed only one meeting. 


·         Para Transpo reimbursements should be provided to members prior to each meeting. 

o   Fares for members using Para can range from two tickets or $3.25 - $18.50 for one way. Many AAC members are on fixed income and cannot afford to disburse the Para fee. In the event that a member uses OC and informs the Coordinator ahead of the meeting they can be reimbursed at the same meeting. 

o   AAC members think the current process for reimbursement is inadequate as the requested information must include where they get picked up/dropped off, the time, how much they paid and what type of fare they used. The Coordinator must then get this information verified by Para then at the next meeting the member would receive their reimbursement. This not only leaves the member with a feeling that they are not to be trusted but they are left without reimbursement until the next month and/or in some cases up to two months if the member misses the next meeting or if the next meeting is cancelled. Those using OC are never asked where they start their journey.

o   Another point was raised in terms of the extravagant cost ($36.00 per meeting) to travel by Para if an AAC member lives in the rural areas. 


·         Due to the fact that the AAC is provincially mandated, the committee is requesting funding for a minimum of one member to attend various conferences / workshops. These workshops/ conferences would allow member(s) to stay current and up to date with legislation and share with other AACs across the province.



Carole Langford


c.c.       Diane Blais, Program Manager, Advisory Committees

            Melanie Murdock, Research Officer, City Manager’s Office

            Catherine Gardner, Chair, Accessibility Advisory Committee

            Bob Brown, Vice-Chair, Accessibility Advisory Committee


Arts, Heritage and Culture Advisory Committee


1.      There is a strong concern amongst members about the rigidity of the attendance policy. It has been expressed that exemptions from the “three consecutive absences” be considered for a broader range of instances. They would include, but not be exclusive of the following:

a.       Medical leave/sick leave

b.      Maternity Leave (right after the birth of the child)

c.       Family responsibilities (e.g. last minute failure to obtain child care, looking after a parent, etc)

d.      Jury duty (or other civic responsibility)

e.       Employment-related exigencies

f.       Severe weather conditions


In this regard, perhaps rather than having to refer the matter to the City Clerk’s office, the matter could be considered on an ad hoc basis by the Chair of the Committee.


2.      Still within the topic of “attendance”. The Committee would like the City to consider employing electronic means for those unable to attend the meeting (teleconference; Skype or other means to permit participation in a meeting where they would otherwise be absent from.


3.      In terms of appointment to the Committee …

a.       Consideration be given to enlarge the list of potential reserves (or at least have access to further candidates --- even though they may not have been appointed as reserve members

b.      Consideration be given  to appointment (ex officio) to the CEOs of umbrella organizations (e.g. CHOO/COPO; Council for the Arts, etc) to sit on the Committee


4.      Policies; strategic directions, discussion papers should be brought to the attention of the Committee as they are developed in order to allow the Committee to offer pro-active advice rather than presenting them where the Committee is reacting to virtually a fait accompli where little can be affected because of timelines for completion.


5.      That at a minimum, the member of Council responsible for AHCAC appear before the Committee annually to present the overall direction for the Committee and to discuss work plans of the Committee and how they support the objectives of the City.


We trust that the above-noted suggestions are useful and that they can be implemented in the review.


Brian C. M. Barrett


Arts, Heritage and Culture Advisory Committee

November 1, 2010


Mr. O’Connor,


Re: RCAC recommendations for end-of-term governance review


I am writing to you in my capacity as Chair of the Roads and Cycling Advisory Committee. First, I would like to thank you for your continued efforts to best integrate input from city advisory committees into reports such as these.


As part of the end-of-term governance review, I would like to bring three items to your attention:


Increasing the number of official meetings allotted to the Roads and Cycling Advisory Committee to no less than 10 per year. Currently, RCAC meets on a bi-monthly basis, though this does not accurately reflect the volume of work that the committee does. RCAC is asked to comment on a great number of ongoing city projects, including planning studies, road redevelopment projects, and initiatives such as the Lansdowne Park redevelopment and the switch to pay-and-display parking meters, all in addition to items which gestate internally. This has led to an increasing trend of meetings lasting well in excess of three hours, often until the by-law mandated 10:30 cut-off time. In effect, RCAC compresses monthly meetings into double-length bimonthly meetings. This is unfair to volunteers, but also means that some agenda items are dealt with in a rushed matter as the meeting runs longer.


From the city’s perspective, infrequent RCAC meetings leads to difficulties matching up with staff’s deadlines for advice. This can mean that RCAC receives presentations that are too preliminary to provide detailed advice on, or are too far along in the process for much more than minor recommendations to be integrated into final plans. RCAC ultimately exists to provide advice and guidance to staff and council; our current meeting schedule is not conducive for that goal.


Ensuring that Public Consultation Groups meet outside of business hours. There have been a number of occasions in the past year where public consultation groups exclusively held scheduled meetings during business hours, effectively limiting the ability of members of the committee who work to attend and provide advice. It should be noted that this is not a constant problem, but has occurred frequently enough to be a frustration. I understand that there are often timing constraints on both staff and consultants, but it is impractical to expect volunteers to be able to leave work for extended periods of time to attend such meetings. This limits the number of people that are able to participate and, by extension, colours the advice given.


Mileage reimbursement for cyclists. The city’s current policy is to offset out-of-pocket transportation costs, including driving or taking the bus. Up to now, cycling is not compensated. However, there is a very real personal cost to using a bicycle as transportation. These include upfront costs such as purchasing and outfitting a bicycle and ongoing costs such as regular maintenance and replacing consumables such as tubes and batteries. While certainly these costs are less than operating a motor vehicle and perhaps even less than taking public transportation, they are nonetheless real and not insignificant. On a very practical matter, advisory committee members that choose to bike also save the city money by not claiming mileage costs that they would be otherwise entitled to.


I understand that, up to now, there are few examples of municipalities that offer such reimbursement, giving opportunity for Ottawa to be a leader in this regard, encouraging cycling while saving money it might otherwise spend. There are a number of ways in which such a system might be structured, including compensating cyclists at a fixed rate per trip, paying a certain amount for mileage, or some combination of the two. Administratively, the former is likely the most straightforward to administer.


Once again, thank you for the opportunity to provide input in this process. Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at or at 613-797-7313.



Michael Powell


Roads and Cycling Advisory Committee

EDAC Review of Governance Structure – White Paper 7


All comments and recommendations are solely related to EDAC and its members; they may also be applicable to other Advisory Committees.


EDAC fully supports the value and concepts of public engagement. Within our meeting agenda structure we monthly reach out to and encourage the various communities to share their issues and concerns with EDAC. It is our hope that we can act as a window on the city of Ottawa and an avenue to raise issues for Council.


EDAC has on several occasions raised our concerns with the growing default reliance on web based communication of City of Ottawa services, issues and positions regarding equity and diversity.


Our position is based upon four key points:

1)      not all citizens of the City of Ottawa have access to the internet thus depriving them of the same opportunities and awareness as those who can afford the internet connections and the computer to receive this information;

2)      almost no one from the various communities that come to EDAC or who EDAC  attempts to work with regularly checks the City of Ottawa’s website for up dates thus again depriving them of the same opportunities and awareness as those who do monitor the City of Ottawa’s internet site;

3)      there appears to be a lack of understanding of the vast number of languages spoken by the citizens of Ottawa as almost all communication is limited to French and English despite the arrival of Google language translation. This is also a key issue in print communications;

4)      programs designed for children and new comers to Ottawa that could be accessed through the use of Ottawa Library internet connections often fail to make that fact know to their target populations thus again depriving them of the same opportunities and awareness as those who can monitor the City of Ottawa’s internet site. 


Within the section “Change Opportunity”


EDAC sees a significant opportunity to massively improve the output of Advisory Committees while also enhancing and demonstrating a stronger commitment to valid vs. cosmetic consultation. The current system relies on the Advisory Committees to initiate the consultation process with the various constituents and representative groups, then prepare a recommendation which goes to the City of Ottawa staff (in EDAC’s case Human Resource) where that recommendation gets vetted by that staffing group then it may go forward to include a legal opinion and then on to the appropriate committee of Council and then may be onto Council.


For most individuals and representative groups this process looks like a method of filtering out or diluting their concerns and recommendations.


Despite the limitations of this system EDAC is not prepared to abandon the process but we see the value of an Advisory Committee as much more a two way interactive process where not only does the Advisory Committee bring items forward to Council but Council can and should look to the Advisory Committee structure to research issues and prepare recommendations on issues identified by Council and forwarded to the Advisory Committees by Council. Such and orientation would by its very nature reach out and engage more communities and yet not tax the resources of individual councilors.


If one reviews the attrition rate of membership within the Advisory Committees it becomes clear that many individuals volunteer for these positions, some are selected yet the rapidly leave this very avenue of consultation and opportunity to engage Council. A big contributing factor in the departure process is the fact that they do not see what they are doing actually contributing to a better city or environment due to the limits of the upward sharing process and the limits of how they are to interact with Councilors and the Mayor. The message outlined for Committee members by City staff is not to lobby council and not to advocate for the resolution or consideration of issues presented by the constituents of their mandate but to simply make a recommendations and wait and hope for a positive outcome. These individual members want to make a difference and believe that they can if permitted to more actively share what they know and see.


It is equally important to note that only a fool would believe that every issue identified can and would be dealt with in the manner desired by the representing group. What the City of Ottawa can guarantee through a more effective utilization of Committee expertise is immediate or at least short turn around consultation and input  followed by a fair hearing of the issues and concerns in short the delivery of the six concepts outlined within the Public Participation Policy of October 2003.


Within the section “Matching up the Priorities of Council to the Work of Advisory Committees” the concept is solid and well thought out but also limiting. True there is a great need for the Committees to understand what is on the agenda and radar of Council. Equally it is the role of the Committees to bring for the agendas and pivotal issues of their constituents to council thus completing the circle of shared information and concerns not simply the representation of legislated requirements of whose voices are heard the most.


EDAC supports the Work plan model and encourages a much faster adoption process for those plans and changes in Terms of Reference when that occurs.


EDAC sees a much stronger bond and relationship with Council which includes greater participation of Councilors in our meetings and the ability to draw EDAC members into the city process and awareness system. An example of this City staff’s heavy reliance on external consultants on issues and process that EDAC members already know and have extensive background in.


Why is the City not accessing that resource? It is almost as if the very background than made you a great candidate for membership in an Advisory Committee also eliminates you form playing and more dynamic role. Remember participation in a project or committee is essential for a sense of commitment and value thus increasing the tenure of Committee members.


Hopefully these thoughts will assist the Governance process


Wayne Spragge Vice Chair EDAC




Ottawa Forests and Greenspace Advisory Committee

            Comité consultatif sur les forêts et les espaces verts d'Ottawa


October 31, 2010


Ms. Leslie Donnelly,

Deputy City Clerk, City Manager's Office,

City Clerk & Solicitor Department,

City of Ottawa


Subject: Governance – Advisory Committees


This letter is in response to the request from Advisory Committee Chairs and Vice-chairs for comments on ACs governance related issues by November 1st.


The Ottawa Forests and Greenspace Advisory Committee welcomes the opportunity to provide input on the governance review and as such, is submitting its comments as follows:


Strategic Planning Session

Strategic Planning Session of the Advisory Committee's respective Standing Committee was to be held after June 24th 2009 Council Decision regarding mid-term governance presentation and staff report. This never occurred.  We were to prepare our annual workplan to accord with the workplan and objectives/mandate of our respective Standing Committee. When will the strategic planning session of the ACs occur?     

Recommendation: That the Strategic Planning session of the Advisory Committee's respective Standing Committee be held at the end of the calendar year, in time for the Advisory Committee volunteer members to develop their workplan for the coming new year.   

Standing Committees

Recommendation: Propose that Council adopt the model for Advisory Committees’ Chair and Vice-Chair to meet, on a quarterly basis, with their relevant Standing Committee Chair.   And, that ACs become more involved in helping Standing Committee’s set their strategic priorities, and SCs would identify roles that ACs could play in that.  ACs can help by making suggestions for these Strategic Plans – for example, things that SCs should be concentrating on and why.


Policy Making

In terms of ACs participating in policy making at the municipal level, we find that there is little to no opportunity provided, and when we are invited to participate it is often when city staff have completed their draft report for presentation to Council. And, in most cases, the draft report has already been provided to the Councillors, which make is nearly impossible to provide advice and have meaningful input and dialogue with (as per our mandate) our elected officials after the fact.

Recommendation: That City Council instruct city staff to invite AC members to actively participate in policy making at the start and throughout the project design, so that Councillors can benefit from having their ACs provide their expertise, advice and guidance in the drafting of policy initiatives. 

Major Infrastructure Projects

Major infrastructure projects initiated by the City would benefit from obtaining input from their Advisory Committees at the early planning stages, i.e. before the project is in its final stages. The members of the ACs are experts in their fields and have an elaborate network, providing Councillors with an opportunity to tap into that extensive expertise, free of charge. This could help the City tremendously and avoid problems before they surface.            

Recommendation: That Councillors tap into the extensive experience and expertise of their Advisory Committee members, and invite them to the table at the early planning stages of major infrastructure projects and throughout the life of the projects.     


-       City Clerk’s office hold recruitment on a regular basis, every year, to replenish the members of advisory committees who have completed their term, and increase the number of reserve members (as previous reserve members have moved forward as voting members), and to recruit new members, especially those members of the public who have actively participated with the ACs and would like to become a voting member of the AC.

-       To continue to adequately cover the rural and urban areas of the city, maintain 15 active members and 9 reserve on a continuous basis. This allows the Ottawa Forests and Greenspace Advisory Committee to have the necessary diverse representation, obtain different viewpoints with the important mix of urban/sub-urban/rural perspectives, run effective meetings and reach quorum at every meeting.

-       Reduce the time it takes from the initial announcement for recruitment to the approval of new members, including the renewing of former members’ terms. Add to this, that in the event that the recruitment process is not going to occur that year, that the authority be given to the Chairs of the ACs to add reserve members when these numbers (reserve members) have been depleted.

-       City Clerk’s office provide the orientation session(s) for new members right away after their acceptance (currently it is done three to six months, which is considered too long a wait). 

-       Reserve members who attend the ACs’ monthly meeting should, at the very least, be listed in the minutes of meeting.  Their participation and interest should be acknowledged, a show of respect for the time they volunteer to attend AC meetings and provide valuable input. To record their attendance in the minutes, demonstrates the ACs willingness to include the reserve members as part of the team, and goes a long way in encouraging them to stick with it until they can become full members. 

Administrative items

-       Revisit the possibility of getting some basic funds for general expenses, $500/advisory committee, for example; funding for pamphlets, display boards to be used at Councillors’ Open Houses, and participation in other events as part of the ACs outreach activities. Basic funds would also help ACs efforts in obtaining public participation for workshops, forums and other events within the purvue of the advisory committee’s mandate.

-       Mileage reimbursement for Advisory Committees’ members should at the same level as that of the city staff or at least closer to it than the current ACs .35/kilometre, whereas staff’s is .50/kilometer.

-       The requirement for advisory committee to submit annual workplans and annual reports to the City Clerk’s Office for approval by Council, need to include the commitment for a response and within a reasonable timeframe. (Example: ACs submit Workplan for 2009 and their 2008 Annual Report by the stipulated deadline of March of 2009, but receive no acknowledgement, no response, no approval, therefore, these are still considered to be 'drafts'.  

-       Committee Coordinators could complete the list of individual AC accomplishments of previous year (Annual Reports) for ACs Chair’s approval for presentation to Council.

Please contact me if you have any questions or require clarification regarding the contents of this letter.

Nicole Parent, Chair 

Heather Hamilton, Vice-chair

Ottawa Forests and Greenspace Advisory Committee

Health and Social Services Advisory Committee


WHEREAS the new Ottawa Board of Health is expected to be operational in the spring of 2011, and City Council will no longer have jurisdiction over municipal public health issues;


AND WHEREAS the mandate of the Health and Social Services Advisory Committee (and the Environmental Advisory Committee), will no longer include matters of public health, but the mandate of the Health and Social Services Advisory Committee will continue to include matters relative to social services;


AND WHEREAS the mandate of the Community and Social Services department of City Operations includes broader issues than what has traditionally been the focus of the social services component of the HSSAC mandate;


THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the mandate of the Health and Social Services Advisory Committee be broadened to include matters such as housing, long-term care, children’s services and community development;


AND BE IT FURTHER RESOVED that the Health and Social Services Advisory Committee actively engage, within its mandate, in the upcoming strategic planning and budgeting process of the Community and Protective Services Advisory Committee, particularly in the areas of housing, long-term care, children’s services  and community development;


AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Advisory Committee’s name be changed to Community and Social Services Advisory Committee, to better reflect this new alignment of its mandate.





WHEREAS the new Ottawa Board of Health is expected to be operational in the spring of 2011, and City Council will no longer have jurisdiction over municipal public health issues;


AND WHEREAS the mandate of the Health and Social Services Advisory Committee will no longer include matters of public health;


AND WHEREAS public input and citizen engagement are critical on public health issues;


AND WHEREAS broad-based and comprehensive public input cannot be expected from the five public members who will be appointed to the Board of Health;


BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Health and Social Services Advisory Committee recommends that the Board of Health establish mechanisms for meaningful and sustained citizen engagement, by establishing at least one Advisory Committee made up of residents of Ottawa with an interest in public health and quality of life matters.





WHEREAS the new Ottawa Board of Health is expected to be operational in the spring of 2011;


AND WHEREAS Council is expected to appoint public representatives to the new Board of Health early in 2011;


THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Health and Social Services Advisory Committee recommends that the public appointees be selected in such a way as to include both professional representatives and “consumer” representatives.