City Meetings 101



Under the Municipal Government Act, there are different types of meetings that Councils can hold. To navigate municipal issues, it’s important to understand the types of meetings and the process for getting more involved and staying informed.

There are five primary categories of meetings for municipalities: Standing Committee Meetings, Advisory Board Meetings, Public Meetings of Council, Regular Monthly Meetings of Council, and Special Meetings of Council.

The Municipal Government Act
The Municipal Government Act or MGA is the legislation that dictates what topics being discussed by Council must be held in an open session (meaning accessible to the public) or in closed session (meaning information not available to the public such as Human Resources issues relating to personnel files). Resolutions or votes of Council cannot be held in a closed session.
Standing Committee Meetings
Standing Committees are smaller groups made up of members of Council, the Mayor, the CAO and staff. They focus on specific topics and represent City departments, as outlined in the standing committee terms of reference set by Council and published on the City’s website.

Several members of council sit on each standing committee with one serving as the Chairperson, one as Vice-Chairperson and the others as Members at Large. The City of Charlottetown uses this committee structure to process matters of importance and bring recommendations forward to Council in the form of resolutions for a vote. Standing Committee Meetings can be streamed on the City’s website and are also available on the City’s YouTube Channel.
Advisory Board Meetings
Advisory Boards are typically made up of subject matter experts, advocates, and members of the public. Through an application process, Council chooses people to serve on these volunteer committees to provide suggestions and advice to staff and Council on specific topics. Advisory Boards cannot pass resolutions or create policy but can make recommendations to the standing committees.
Public Meetings of Council
Public Meetings of Council are held to formally consult the public. These are typically related to Planning and Heritage items, such as rezoning applications (for zoning and development bylaw changes) and heritage designations. Council must hold a Public Meeting before deciding to change a zoning bylaw. Public Meetings of Council are the formal platform that provides an opportunity for the public to speak and give feedback to Council.
Regular Monthly Meetings of Council
Regular monthly meetings of Council are, as the title suggests, the scheduled meetings held by Council once a month. They are primarily for final approval of the recommendations made by the standing committees.

During regular monthly meetings of Council, the Mayor and Council will formally receive reports, vote on by-laws, and consider financial and other matters. Each Standing Committee Chairperson will also update Council on what their committee has been up to.

These monthly meetings of Council are held on the second Monday of every month, except on holidays, and can be streamed online.

Special Meetings of Council
A Special Meeting of Council can be called if there is urgent business that cannot be delayed until the next regular monthly meeting of council. Special meetings may only deal with the business for which the meeting was called. These meetings can also be streamed at

Staying Informed

The City's website has a wealth of information and is a great place to start to learn more about municipal politics, City services and issues, as well as the decisions being made by Council on behalf of the citizens of Charlottetown.

Our Understanding Municipal Services section starts with the basics and includes a series of videos about topics ranging from City budget to help navigating the website. 

Below are some quick links for accessing agendas and the City's meeting calendar as well as ways to receive direct notification when something is posted online. 

Can't find what you're looking for or have more questions about process? Contact our Communications team and they'll do their best to help you or direct you to the appropriate department! 

Meeting Agendas
With all these different types of meetings, it can be difficult to follow the process of approval or denial for an item or know what issues Council is working on. That’s why the City of Charlottetown posts meeting agendas on the City’s website under the Mayor and Council tab.

Worried you might miss an important agenda? Hit the subscribe button at the top of the menu to be notified by email every time a new agenda gets added or edited!
Meeting Calendar
Our website also provides a Monthly Meeting Calendar. This shows exactly what meetings are taking place and when. By hitting the mail icon at the top of the calendar you can get notified by email every time a meeting is added or edited!
Meeting Packages
Meeting Packages are also available online. Meeting Packages let you know exactly what will be discussed at each meeting. The same subscription option for notifications is available for this feature as well.
Signed Resolutions and Minutes
Signed Resolutions and Minutes offers an archive of what resolutions were passed or, visit our video streaming webpage to access the archived meeting videos.