Monday, July 25, 2022

Changes to the Public Notice process up for review tonight by Council

How the City of Prince Rupert plans to provide for Public Notice is up for review tonights, with a. report from Communications Manager Veronica Stewart set to provide Council members with a new template for  how the city communicates those Notices with the public.

Key to the change to the Information relay from the City is what will be a reduced amount of paid advertising for the local newspaper and more use of the City's website and Social media streams

As well, as part of the renewed communication strategy, the City will continue to use their official notice board at the front desk of City Hall.

Rather than having a requirement to publish in the newspaper for two consecutive weeks as per the current standard, the proposed Bylaw would require publication in the newspaper for a minimum of 1 week, alongside the use of the City’s Notice section of our website at and the City’s official Facebook page as alternative locations. 

This will ensure that the City can meet all notification timing requirements under the Community Charter within the usual two weeks between Council meetings, while retaining a public notification process that is accessible and transparent to the public. 

Given that local elections are occurring in October of 2022, it is important to note that the City’s Election Officer will continue to use the newspaper, website and notice boards (current practice) to publish notices for the minimum notification two week periods for nominations, voting information and other information sharing requirements determined by Elections BC. 

City Council is not involved in election processes once Elections and Voting Bylaws are passed and thus potential conflict between Council Meeting schedules and publishing deadlines pose no risk to the efficient distribution of these notices.

The proposed changes to the Public Notification Bylaw process
(click to enlarge

The increased use of the city's website, a somewhat underused communication instrument of late, as well as Social Media will provide some much needed additional transparency on civic initiatives and increase awareness in the community of those initiatives.

The dedication towards more increased communication will be welcome, as often in the past, many of the notices that are published to the back pages of the weekly paper rarely made it to the website, or Social media stream and often don't gain a mention in public at Council sessions.

An example of such is a current Notice in place related to the plans for a radio tower in the Crestview Area, which we noted two weeks ago.

Plans for a communication tower for civic purposes
were published in the local paper in mid June, but
were not relayed through the city's in house communication options

So far the newspaper ad and our notes on the topic serve as the only indication of the current engagement on the topic, which comes to an end on August 16th.

Council members will have chance to comment on the report tonight and raise any notes of interest that they may have towards the planned changes.

Hopefully, if approved by Council tonight, the flow of information on such notices will improve dramatically in the months ahead.

More notes on tonight's Council Session can be reviewed here.

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