Item - 2019.GL4.15
GL4.15 - Public Notices - Enhancing Public Engagement
- Decision Type:
The General Government and Licensing Committee:
1. Requested the City Manager and the City Clerk to report to the General Government and Licensing Committee at its meeting on May 21, 2019 to:
a. Provide an update on the measures that the City of Toronto has taken to improve the way public notices are provided for formal and informal meetings and open houses to the general public and on any additional actions;
b. Report on methods to improve the way residents and businesses are given notice for matters which affect them;
c. Report on the necessary steps required to update our current public notices in relation to their design, format, and language, including if permission is required through the Municipal Act;
d. Report on the feasibility of providing public notices to both individual condominium owners and condominium corporations; and
e. Report on the feasibility of translating public notices in the languages prevalent in the wards receiving these notifications, in consultation with the local Councillors.
The City of Toronto's public notice website provides a list of public notices for a number of matters, such as fees and charges, heritage designations, the renaming of roads, and the sale of property. The notices include the necessary information, however, the design and language are daunting, not public-friendly, and not attention-grabbing to catch public attention to the issue being reported on.
We live within a fast-moving environment where we are all bombarded with a great deal of information. Governments should strive to provide the public information through straightforward, easily-read, and attention-grabbing public notices, highlighting the main points while also providing the necessary information.
Reviewing our City's public notice design, format, and text is important, as it is one of the ways the City communicates with the public. Public notices are in place to provide information, a vehicle to engage and motivate civic participation. Our current notices, I believe, are not fulfilling this objective.
The City of Toronto's public notices should be streamlined to reflect the City of Toronto's image provided through our website and social media feeds.
I invite you to view our current public notice format: http://app.toronto.ca/nm/notices/current.do.
That the General Government and Licensing Committee request the City Manager and the City Clerk include, as part of their report on public notices, the feasibility of providing public notices to both individual condominium owners and condominium corporations.
That the General Government and Licensing Committee request the City Manager and the City Clerk include, as part of their report on public notices, the feasibility of translating public notices in the languages prevalent in the wards receiving these notifications, in consultation with the local Councillors.