Local Government Special Meetings

Municipalities and regional districts have the authority to conduct special meetings. A special meeting is a council or board meeting other than a regular or statutory meeting.

Conducting Special Meetings

In general, municipal councils and regional district boards conduct their business during regularly scheduled meetings. However, there will be occasions when a council or board needs to call a special meeting, for example:

  • A new bylaw may be required to prohibit a particular activity that, in the absence of the bylaw, would likely occur soon. A council or board may hold a special meeting for timely adoption of the bylaw if their regular meeting schedule, and the need to separate the first three readings of the bylaw from fourth reading and final adoption, would result in unacceptable delays.
  • A council or board may choose to schedule special meetings at budget time to allow members to focus solely on their review of the municipality or board’s proposed financial plan.
  • Councils and boards may choose to hold special meetings to debate important development projects or the implications of major events to the municipality or regional district.

Special Meeting Requirements

Municipalities

A municipal council special meeting may be called by:

  • The mayor, or
  • The mayor upon request by two or more council members, or
  • Two or more council members under specified circumstances

Municipal staff members are required to post a notice of every special council meeting, including the date, time and place and purpose of the meeting, unless council unanimously votes to not provide notice.

Regional Districts

A special regional district board meeting must be called by the corporate officer at the request of the board chair or any two directors. Notice of a special meeting must be given to each director at least five days in advance, unless board members unanimously vote otherwise or there is an emergency.

Conducting Special Meetings Electronically

In general, municipal councils and regional district boards conduct their business during regularly scheduled meetings.

Sometimes a council or board may need to call a special meeting. In cases where in-person attendance is not possible, the council or board could choose to hold the special meeting electronically if their procedure bylaw authorizes it.