Types of City Council meetings

Business licence and chauffeur's permit appeal hearings decide whether to revoke or suspend a business licence or chauffeur's permit based on illegal and prohibited activities.

  • Open to the public
  • As required by Legal Services. View the meeting schedule
  • Speakers are only heard when arranged by Legal Services to appear as witnesses
  • Attended by a panel of three Council members based on their availability

A court of revision is a special meeting of Council to deal specifically with local improvements, land assessment averaging, engineering, and business improvement associations.

  • Open to the affected property owners and the public
  • Once or twice per year at 6:00pm on scheduled weeks. View the meeting schedule
  • Request to speak in person before the meeting from 5:00pm to 5:30pm
  • Attended by at least six members of Council to proceed
    • Chair: Mayor or deputy mayor

Public hearings are held to consider and decide on rezoning applications (for zoning bylaw changes) and heritage designations. Council must hold a public hearing before deciding to change a zoning bylaw, according to the Vancouver Charter.

  • Open to the public
  • Tuesdays at 6:00pm on scheduled weeks, 12 to 20 times per year. View the meeting schedule
    • If the meeting agenda isn't completed, the meeting chair will schedule the next meeting at the end of the meeting.
  • Watch the meeting live online
  • Request to speak at the meeting
    • Comments need to address the merits of the rezoning application.
  • Send your comments
    • Include your name (anonymous comments aren't shared with Council).
    • The deadline to send your comments is 15 minutes after the speaker's list closes.
    • If you send your comments during the meeting, use a maximum of 1,500 words.
    • Comments are posted on our website.
    • Email: publichearing@vancouver.ca
    • Mail: City Clerk's Office, City of Vancouver, 453 West 12th Ave, Vancouver, BC V5Y 1V4
  • Submit a petition
    • Petitions need hand-printed names, original signatures, and a statement that the names are for or against the application. 
    • Email, mail, in-person (see above)
  • Attended by at least six members of Council to proceed
    • Chair: Mayor or deputy mayor

Learn more about what happens at public hearings

Regular Council meetings are held to make decisions about bylaws, spending, providing services (such as infrastructure, facilities, and programs), and fostering Vancouver's economic, social, and environmental well-being.

  • Open to the public
  • Tuesdays at 9:30am around every two weeks. View the meeting schedule
  • Watch the meeting live online
    • Or watch it on Shaw Cable Channel 4 in Vancouver on Tuesdays at 9:30am and Saturdays at noon.
  • Request to speak at the meeting
    • Council must agree to hear speakers for an agenda item. If Council agrees, the item is moved to an upcoming standing committee meeting usually on the next day.
  • Attended by at least six members of Council to proceed
    • Chair: Mayor or deputy mayor

Special Council meetings are held to deal with emerging issues as needed.

Standing committee meetings are held to hear information from staff and the public. There are two standing committees of Council:

  1. City Finance and Services
  2. Policy and Strategic Priorities
  • Open to the public
  • Wednesdays at 9:30am on scheduled weeks. View the meeting schedule
  • Request to speak at the meeting
  • Attended by at least six members of Council to proceed
    • The City Finance and Services Standing Committee chair is Councillor Heather Deal and vice-chair is Councillor Tim Stevenson.
    • The Policy and Strategic Priorities Standing Committee chair is Councillor Andrea Reimer and vice-chair is Councillor Elizabeth Ball.

Council's role in meetings as regulator and land owner

City Council has an array of powers and can assume many roles, even for a single project, including:

  • Legislative: enacting bylaws and making resolutions
  • Business: managing municipal assets (including real estate) and their purchase and sale
  • "Quasi-judicial": sitting as an administrative tribunal

There are situations where Council's legislative decisions, such as enacting a zoning bylaw, will affect the City's business interests, such as the sale of land. The Courts have ruled that these conflicts are inevitable and that Council must carefully separate its business and legislative functions to manage the potential conflict.

For example, where Council is considering a project involving a sale of land, and there may be a financial benefit to the City if the land is rezoned, Council must act in good faith and consider the proposal with an open mind. Each councillor must determine whether they believe the purchase or sale of land is in the best interests of the City. For details, read about public hearings.

What happens at Public Hearings