Guidelines for attending Council and Committee meetings
Members of the media and the general public who are interested in attending a Council or City Committee meeting are invited to review the following guidelines.
Access to Meetings
The media and members of the public are welcome to attend all public meetings of the Council and its committees, ad hoc task forces and working groups. The City will make every effort to provide the media and members of the public with seating space in the Council Chambers and other public meeting rooms, recognizing that seating availability might occasionally be impacted by the volume of outside delegations and staff in attendance at a meeting.
Media Seating – Council Chambers
Media have been provided with designated seating in Council Chambers, to the left of the Public Gallery - there are four seats available. Seating is available on first come first served basis.
Council Chambers Protocol
While council is in session:
• The use of cell phones is not permitted.
• Conversations with councillors and staff seated at the tables are not permitted.
• Any discussions amongst media or the attendees in the public gallery should be conducted quietly so as to not interrupt or disturb the Council session.
• Dress should consist of appropriate, respectful clothing.
• Beverages such as water and coffee are permitted. Food should not be brought into the Council Chambers.
• Laptop computers and handheld devices, such as smartphones, are permitted in the meeting rooms provided that the equipment is completely muted and does not occupy space otherwise required for a meeting participant or audience member.
Audio and videotape recording of public meetings is permitted, under the following guidelines:
• Walking on the Council floor for the purposes of a photograph, video taping, etc. is not permitted. (For greater clarity, the Council floor is the area around where the members of Council and staff sit). Cameras and video cameras can be used in the floor area near the entrances into the Council Chambers.
• All recording equipment must be completely muted and operated in a manner which does not interfere with the audience’s or participants’ ability to hear or view the meeting proceedings
• Recording equipment must not interfere with corporate computer/AV systems
• Recording must not compromise confidential materials or discussions
Interviewing of Councillors, Delegations, etc.
Media interviews may not be conducted in meeting rooms while meetings are in progress, or in areas immediately outside meeting rooms where meetings are in progress, in order to avoid disruption to meeting proceedings.
The public, including media, are not permitted to attend closed sessions of the Municipal Council or its committees due to the confidential nature of the matters being discussed at these sessions. Media must remove themselves and all of their equipment and personal effects from the meeting room, in a timely way, when a meeting is moving into closed session. For more information on closed sessions of Council, click here.
Media Access to City Staff, Facilities and Work Locations
The media are expected to conduct themselves in accordance with the following guidelines when visiting City of Cornwall facilities and work locations:
• No media may enter any City facility or work location which is not normally accessible to the general public, without providing satisfactory identification and receiving clearance from the appropriate City of Cornwall manager.
• Photo shoots, film shoots, or interviewing of staff at any City facility or work location must be pre-arranged through the appropriate City manager.
• No media shall photograph or film any employee in non-public areas at City Hall or its facilities if, for personal or other reasons, he or she does not wish to appear in a photograph, video or film. This also applies to others who may be present including, for example, a customer or supplier.
• No media shall conduct themselves in a manner which is disruptive or otherwise poses a safety or security risk at City facilities or work locations.