What you need to know to participate in City Council Meetings and Public Hearings

We have a new model for watching and participating online

In order to adhere with the Provincial Health Authority COVID-19 pandemic guidelines, the City of Kamloops is now encouraging residents to watch and participate in Regular Council Meetings and Public Hearings online using Zoom Webinar. As we transition to this new format, those wishing to watch or participate in meetings online will need to use Zoom Webinar. There will be no other live-streaming option.

What you will need:

  • desktop computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone
  • speakers/headphones—most laptops, tablets, and smartphones have built-in speakers
  • webcam—recommended if asking questions, but not required
  • internet connection—please note that the audio and video quality of your connection is directly related to the quality of your internet connection from your service provider

How to watch or participate online:

Step One: To view Regular Council Meetings and Public Hearings online, navigate to our calendar of meeting dates and click on the date of the meeting you want to attend, and then click on the video link for that meeting. If you are joining a Zoom webinar for the first time, you will need to download a file. This process is slightly different depending on what device or program you are using.

Step Two: After clicking the link you will be prompted to register for the webinar. Please use your full name for your screen name and a valid email address. The City is collecting this information under section 26(c) of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (British Columbia) for the purpose of facilitating online meetings. By providing your full name and email address, you acknowledge and consent to the collection and use of your personal information by the City of Kamloops for this purpose. Should you have any questions about the collection of this personal information, please contact the Communications and Community Engagement Division at 250-828-3311 or communications@kamloops.ca

Step Three: Select your audio preference. Once you join the webinar, you may be prompted to select your audio preference. If your device is equipped with a microphone and speakers, you should select Computer Audio. If you do not have a microphone and speakers on your device or your sound quality is poor, you can select Phone Call. If you select Phone Call, you will be provided a list of numbers to use to call into to participate in the audio portion of the meeting.

Step Four: Wait for the host to start the meeting. Once you have entered the information above, you will be placed in a “waiting room” and City moderators will be notified that you are waiting to join the webinar. When the meeting starts, your feed will begin.

Please note:

To avoid distractions, feedback, and sound quality issues, the City will maintain control of all audio and video. As a meeting attendee, you will be able to view and hear the meeting but will be muted and blocked from being seen on video.

How to ask questions:

At the specified time during a Regular Council Meeting or Public Hearing you can add yourself to the queue to speak by “raising your hand.” To do so, click or tap Raise Hand in the webinar controls. When your hand is raised it will appear blue or green.

The system logs the order in which hands are raised and speakers will be called in that order. Unless you no longer wish to speak, please keep your hand raised until you are called upon.

At the start of the next public comment period, the Mayor will begin calling for questions. This will include both online and in person participants, so please be patient.

Before your turn to comment, an administrator will change your participant status to allow you to speak and display your video. This process will sometimes cause a short disconnect and delay in your video feed. Do not be alarmed or leave the meeting if this happens. Your video feed will resume shortly. The same delay may occur after you are finished speaking, when your status is returned to attendee.

When you have speaker status, some version of the icons shown below should appear, which indicate the status of your audio and video. When they are muted and turned off, you will see a red dash over them. You may need to accept an unmute prompt before your microphone will turn on. Please watch for a prompt and ensure you have turned on your microphone and camera before asking your question or providing your comments.

Note that you do not have to use video, but it is encouraged for all participants asking questions or providing comments.

When called upon to speak you will be asked to provide your full name and address before asking your question or providing your comments.

Please note:

The name provided as your screen name when registering for the webinar is the name called upon to invite you to speak. To avoid confusion, please register using your full name.

Tips for an optimal experience:

  • Start early. Plan some lead-time to get set up on Zoom Webinar. This will allow you to troubleshoot any issues or make software updates if needed. It will also allow you to check that your sound and video are working and familiarize yourself with the platform. 
  • Consider your environment. When speaking at a meeting, please share your video but do so from a quiet and uninterrupted environment. Choose a place to sit that is lit from above or in front of you rather than from behind.
  • Set your camera. Test your camera and adjust it if necessary to ensure you can sit comfortably with your face centred on the display screen.
  • Choose a good connection. Opt to connect from a location with the highest speed internet you have access to. A wired connection is often faster than wireless.
  • Use a device with a built-in microphone. If the device you are using does not have a built-in microphone you will still have the option to call-in using a separate device, but the dial-in instructions will only appear once you have been invited to speak. The process will cause a delay in the meeting.

If you need help:

If you have any technical issues when logging into a Regular Council Meeting or Public Hearing, please access the Zoom help centre directly. There are a number of training tools and support systems on their website: https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us

Watch or participate in person

Council Chambers have been temporarily relocated to Valley First Lounge at Sandman Centre, 300 Lorne Street. Room capacity is a maximum of 50 persons. Admittance during Regular Council Meetings and Public Hearings will be first come, first serve with priority for essential staff, invited speakers, and the media. If capacity is exceeded, attendees will be directed to a designated overflow area and will be called on to speak to Council when it is their turn. Afterwards, attendees will be asked to leave the Council Chambers to allow the next participant to engage. We invite all who are able to tune in online to avoid capacity issues in the building.

If attending in person, please note that there will be new health and safety procedures implemented. There will be designated entry and exit doors, and arrows on the floor to direct foot traffic. Seating will be spaced to maintain physical distancing. Guests will be invited to sanitize their hands upon entry and will be asked to provide personal contact information. The information collected will be maintained for 30 days and will only be used to identify and inform the Public Health Office, upon their request, should an individual be connected to a confirmed case of COVID-19.

Common Questions
Will video of the Council Meetings still be recorded and available online after a meeting?

Yes, recordings of every Council Meeting will be available within five business days of the meeting here.

Where can I find the meeting agenda?

The agenda for the Regular Council Meeting can be found at Kamloops.ca/Council under the specific meeting date. Agendas are provided the Friday prior to the scheduled meeting date.