Etiquette

Etiquette, the strive for excellence with society!

Freedom of speech is to be respected here, the community is welcome to express their point of view in the comments relating Newsletters or Members of Parliament, one should try their best to follow the golden rule “that one should behave toward others as one would have others behave toward oneself” the main goal of the websites comment section is to identify policy that is seen at odds with public interest & focus our energy on research, honing of alternative opinions & solutions together, please take any comment not focused on such pursuits with a grain of salt. Corporate interest will not be a primary concern here, any unsolicited commercial comments will be removed, any threats of violence will be removed.

Etiquette relating highlighting topics, if you’ve found a topic in one of the posts under a category of a BC Member of Parliament or in one of the links attached to a Newsletter or Bill that you’d like further researched, comment on the post “I’d like to highlight ‘x’ as a topic to research” to find alternative opinions & solutions we can make a new post in R&D on the topic & link the new post in the comments section where the topic was asked to be hosted, you are welcome to ask for us to highlight a topic even if the only goal is to have help in researching the topic further, to better ones awareness is a worthy goal in & of itself, never be afraid to ask questions & seek answers.

Etiquette relating R&D, its a bit more strict, the first phase with a new topic to research is to discuss where to find or provide information we have researched in a cursory fashion this might include studying a few of the databases linked on the main page, or consulting reference material found in a library or search engine, or stating what we found by placing a call or email sent out through a informal request to a few departments, once the topic is adequately studied & discussed, the second phase is to formulate alternative opinions/solutions & hone such, once such ideas have been crafted a third phase could be to gather the ideas & host a vote as to what opinions/solutions enter the draft phase for a newsletter (the vote also helps determine fundraiser support) if there is low turnout earlier on & the topic isn’t time sensitive, the newsletter could be set aside & bundled with the next topic focused on that municipality. It is asked that all comments in R&D are made in good faith, if not enough support is shown we can look to either close the topic & keep record of our research or place it on hold for a time if anyone wishes for us to come back to the topic with fresh eyes & minds later on.

Fundraising for a newsletter to be published to the community in a particular municipality will require some interest from this websites community, say 200 positive votes minimum for a municipality of 10k, not sure if we will be able to reach some of the larger communities for a time until this website has some more experience on this particular service.

Etiquette relating partisanship, though some topics discussed might be upsetting, let us try our best not to stew on any topic & separate the concepts we face with the people we interact with both here in discussion & wherever we research, try not to let another’s party affiliation or preferred ‘side’ to any topic sway you from your own studies or crafting of opinions/solutions, a multitude of sides can be presented as alternative solutions on any topic for the communities benefit. Partisanship is a politician’s game, we don’t have to practice such with each other, focus instead on the pursuit of ideas, let your journey be a pleasant one.

Concerns had, can always be shared in posts or please feel free to contact this websites email / contact too. Having thought on the matter some, rejection from either the community that forms here or ones we reach out to might be taken personally, it is hoped that we can all rise above such, with time we might improve on tackling tougher issues from all types of perspectives. Practice good faith with the community. If in a discussion good faith appears to be broken in R&D, parties may be reminded to fix such or to take a break from commenting for a time.

Please take your mental health into due consideration, any time spent here in the pursuit of research or in thinking on alternative opinions/solutions to further hone will always be appreciated, though if say the events of your day have been burdensome & say you have trouble separating concepts from people, please look to prioritize yourself & rest up.

Some Civic details to be mindful of,

Government Mail Free of Postage allows for mail to be sent for free to and from:

  • The Governor General
  • The Speaker or Clerk of the Senate or House of Commons
  • The Parliamentary Librarian or the Associate Parliamentary Librarian
  • Member of Parliament
  • Members of the Senate
  • Members of the House of Commons (see the Parliamentary mailings using Neighbourhood Mail™ section
  • The Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner or Senate Ethics Officer
  • The Director of the Parliamentary Protective Service
  • The Parliamentary Budget Officer

“The mail is sent for free if both the sender and receiver are in Canada”.

Members of the Legislative Assembly
(MLAs) Represent their local communities as elected officials, they research, debate, & vote on all proposed laws. Your local MLA or sometimes an assistant will help research a topic that a constituent is concerned with and help where they can, often a good person to reach out to if you are looking to study a subject, though you are welcome to study a subject here too. A list of MLAs can be found here: Link

The Crown
Head of State represented in Canada by the Governor General

  • Executive Branch
    Government
  • Legislative Branch
    (Parliament)
    • Senate
      Upper Chamber of 105 Senators appointed by the Governor General to represent regions of the country
    • House of Commons
      Lower Chamber of 338 members elected to represent the people from their electoral district

How Laws are Made

Step 1
A bill (proposed law) is introduced in either the Senate or the House of Commons.

Step 2
Parliamentarians debate the bill and vote to decide whether it should be studied further.

Step 3
If the bill passes, it is sent to a committee, which studies it in depth and may suggest changes.

Step 4
The bill goes back for a final debate and vote, based on the committee’s report.

Step 5
If the bill passes the vote, it is sent to the other Chamber, where it goes through the same process.

Step 6
Once the bill has been passed by both Chambers in identical form, it goes to the Governor General for Royal Assent and becomes Canadian law.

Glossary of Parliamentary Procedure – House of Commons (ourcommons.ca)

Etiquette relating commons e-petitions,
E-petitions must meet certain requirements established by the rules and practices of the House. The Clerk of Petitions, a non-partisan House of Commons employee, holds the authority to certify that these requirements have been met.

Petitioners cannot directly present a petition to the House of Commons; only a Member of Parliament (MP) is able to do so. To have a petition posted on the House of Commons petitions website and eventually presented to the House, it must be authorized for online publication by an MP.

Creating an Account on the petitions website,
Login – Petitions (ourcommons.ca)
The first step towards creating an e-petition is to create an account on the petitions website. You may not use an email address or a device with an IP address associated with the Government of Canada or the Parliament of Canada. A petitioner must provide certain basic contact information and confirm Canadian citizenship or residency, as well as agree to the Terms of Use (Link), the start of which is here: Link. The information an e-petitioner needs to provide is the following:

  • full name;
  • city;
  • country;
  • province or territory, and postal code (if currently residing in Canada);
  • telephone number; and
  • valid email address.

Note: A petitioner may only have one e-petition open for signature in his or her name at any one time. There are several more steps & formats to review again the full details can be found here: Link

The Clerk of Petitions details:
PMB-AED@parl.gc.ca
613-992-9511

Etiquette relating accessing & distributing information, “there are over 2,900 public bodies covered by FOIPPA including government ministries, agencies, boards commissions, Crown corporations, municipalities, post-secondary institutions, school boards, health authorities, and self-governing bodies of professions.” Best practices in relation to the FOIPPA manual & the many differing topics that can be touched on under it with the above groups are being further researched & will be updated below once further studies on each topic is had.

Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner for B.C. | Home (oipc.bc.ca)

Image above is from oipc

FOI requests are a formal process to ask for specific information, about your personal data or documents about provincial government activities. Often, the information you need is accessible through other, faster channels, such options include:

  • Call the ministry holding the information you need to make an informal request. They may be able to tell you where to find the documents you need, or explain how to formally request it.
  • Review the records available via Open Information, a searchable database of data and documents.

The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act  applies to all records (i.e. all recorded information) that are under the custody or control of a public body.

FOIPPA covers access to records, & the information contained within. It is NOT the intention of the Act that municipal staff undertake compiled & summarized research in order to answer specific questions. Applicants are expected to conduct their own research.

FOIPPA prohibits public bodies from charging applicants for access to their own personal information. FOIPPA also states in the Fees section that the first three hours spent searching for & retrieving the records is free of charge. Fees are estimated by municipalities differently, an excessive request might prompt an estimate & some municipalities will require deposits before the FOI is fulfilled, Non-commercial applicants must pay $7.50 per quarter hour, after the first three hours. Photocopies: $0.25/page

BC Public Service is divided into ministries, each ministry is responsible for a specific area of public policy, government function or service delivery.

General FOI requests, are intended to provide access to general records, which could be briefing notes, contracts, or records about a specific activity of a non-personal nature. A General FOI is intended to provide access to government records rather than answers to specific questions or general information. Read more…

General FOI request form: FOI Request | B.C. Government

Etiquette relating municipalities, they are mostly run as corporations that follow the Community Charter, roles are further highlighted in Part 5 — Municipal Government and Procedures. Routinely requested info can fall under a multitude of departments & mostly handled without a fee, however each municipality can differ based on employee size & have time constraints with regard to the many differing projects their individual department oversees, with regard to FOI requests, I believe in some circumstances administrators with the help of a lawyer have to examine the privacy rights relating some types of FOI request, not every topic gets approval, still studying this topic though if denied access or take issue with a redaction, you can inquire with OIPC.

Etiquette relating municipal FOI forms, start by making an informal request by contacting the department that you think might possess the information you require. Individual municipalities may offer custom FOI forms or FOI emails on their website, again try to start your search informally with the exact department. Links to municipal FOI related emails or specific pdf forms will be gathered below for convenience, the providences FOI form which should work in most circumstances looks like this:

https://municipalwatchbc.ca/#all (this page contains general contact info such as mail/email/website, remember informal requests can often be directed to specific departments, such details can be found on the municipalities website, smaller villages & towns may only have a Chief Administrative Officer)

FOI emails ✉ & forms:
| Revelstoke | Enderby | Sicamous ✉ |Kimberley  | Castlegar  ✉ | Trail ✉ | New Denver| Cranbrook| Sparwood| Invermere ✉ | Silverton| Fernie| Fruitvale | Keremeos | Penticton | Osoyoos | Princeton | Coldstream ✉ | Ladysmith | |

Below is highlighted common topical sections, routinely requested of municipalities under such titles as; Corporate Services (CS), Human Resources (HR), Financial Services (FS), Development Services (DS), Infrastructure Services (IS), Bylaw Enforcement (BE), Fire/Rescue (FR), Engineering (E), Parks Recreation & Culture (PRC), titles may vary, as well what is routine in some instances, many aspects may be distinct to a municipality (such will be further researched). The list of topics below was based on what one municipality counts as common topics & will grow in time, as well how they handle the topic as either routine (R) or through Freedom of Information (manual) (FOI):

Corporate Services (CS):
Access to Information Requests (FOIPPA) (FOI)(CS), Advertising – Other (R)(CS), Agendas – Advisory Committees Boards & Commissions of Council (R)(CS), Agendas – Open Council Special Council Committee of the Whole (R)(CS), Agendas – Closed/In-Camera Council (FOI)(CS), Agreements (FOI)(CS), Awards – Nomination Forms/Applications (FOI)(CS), Buildings – Municipally Owned (FOI)(CS), Bylaws (R)(CS), Bylaws – Draft (FOI)(CS), Claims – General Information (R)(CS), Claims – Individual Case Files (FOI)(CS), Committee Appointments – Applications (FOI)(CS), Committee – Internal/Staff – Agendas/Minutes (FOI)(CS), Contracts/Agreements/Leases (FOI)(CS), Council – Financial Disclosure Forms (R)(CS), Council – Personal Information (FOI)(CS), Council Meetings – Open Minutes/Agendas/Reports (R)(CS), Council Meetings – Closed/In-Camera Minutes/Agendas/Reports (FOI)(CS), Elections – List of Registered Electors (FOI)(CS), Elections – Nomination Papers (R)(CS), Elections – Results (R)(CS), Employees – Financial Disclosure Forms (FOI)(CS), Freedom of Information – Individual requests for access to records (FOI)(CS), Government Protocols & Cost Sharing Agreements (FOI)(CS), Insurance Policies (FOI)(CS), Land Sale/Options/Exchange/Transfer (FOI)(CS), Leases (FOI)(CS), Legal Opinions (FOI)(CS), Litigation – Individual Case Files (FOI)(CS), News/Media Releases (R)(CS), Newsletter – City (R)(CS), Parade & Banner Permits (R)(CS), Proclamations (R)(CS), Reports – Annual (R)(CS), Tenders/Bids/Requests for Proposal Calls (R)(CS), Tenders/Bids/Requests for Proposal Submissions (FOI)(CS).

Human Resources (HR):
Accident Reports – Employees (FOI)(HR), Administration – Organization Charts (R)(HR), Applications for employment (FOI)(HR), Arbitration Decisions (FOI)(HR), Benefits – Employee (FOI)(HR), Classifications – Jobs (R)(HR), Collective Agreements – Draft (FOI)(HR), Collective Agreements – Final (R)(HR), Competitions – Jobs (FOI)(HR), Criminal Record Checks – Staff & Volunteers (FOI)(HR), Employees Classification (R)(HR), Employees – Individual Case Files (FOI)(HR), Employment Applications/Resumes (FOI)(HR), First Aid/WCB Reports (FOI)(HR), Grievances – Individual Case Files (FOI)(HR), Inspections – WorkSafe BC (FOI)(HR), Insurance – Employee Benefits (FOI)(HR), Job Descriptions (R)(HR), Job Evaluations (FOI)(HR), Labour Negotiations (FOI)(HR), Long Term Disability – Individual Case Files (FOI)(HR), Training & Development – General (R)(HR), Training & Development – Individual (FOI)(HR), Wages – Staff (hourly) (R)(HR), WorkSafe BC – Claims (FOI)(HR), Workplace Inspection Reports (FOI)(HR).

Financial Services (FS):
Accounts Payable – General Information (R)(FS), Accounts Payable – Individual Vendors (FOI)(FS), Accounts Payable – Invoices (FOI(FS), Accounts Receivable – General Information (R)(FS), Accounts Receivable – Individual Accounts (FOI)(FS), Bonds & Letters of Credit (FOI)(FS), Budgets – Annual Capitial General Info (current year)(R)(FS), Business Licenses – General Info (R)(FS), Business Licenses – Applications (FOI)(FS), Business Licenses – Individual Case Files (FOI)(FS), Dog Licenses (FOI)(FS), Financial Audits (FOI)(FS), Financial Statements (R)(FS), Grants from the City – General Info (R)(FS), Grants from the City – Requests/Applications (FOI)(FS), Grants to the City – General Info (R)(FS), Inventories & Asset Control (FOI)(FS), Legal Invoices/Costs (FOI)(FS), Payroll (general info)(R)(FS), Property Taxes (general info)(R)(FS), Purchase Orders (FOI)(FS), Reports – Financial (R)(FS), Signing Authorities – List (R)(FS), Tax Exemptions (R)(FS), Taxes Paid (FOI)(FS), Telephone Bills (FOI)(FS), Timesheets (FOI)(FS), Travel Advances (FOI)(FS), Travel Allowances & Expenses (R)(FS), Utility Billing Info – General (R)(FS), Vendors/Suppliers – Individual Case Files (FOI)(FS).

Development Services (DS):
Advertising – Statutory Notices for public Hearings, etc (R)(DS), Cannabis License referrals from Liquor & Cannabis Regulation Branch (R)(DS), Demographic Data (R)(DS), Design Guidelines (R)(DS), Development – Individual Area Plans Guidelines (R)(DS), Development Cost Charges (R)(DS), Development Permits & Development Variance Permits (issued)(R)(DS), Development Permits & Development Variance Permits (applications)(FOI)(DS), Filming Permits (R)(DS), Heritage Inventory (R)(DS), Heritage Revitalization Agreements (R)(DS), Liquor License referrals from Liquor & Cannabis Regulation Branch (R)(DS), Official Community Plan (OCP) amendments (R)(DS), Official Community Plan (OCP) individual applications (FOI)(DS), Public Hearings – Minutes/Agendas/Notices/Info Binders (R)(DS), Rezoning – Applications (FOI)(DS), Rezoning – General Info (R)(DS), Rezoning – Individual Case Files (FOI)(DS), Rezoning – Notifications (R)(DS), Sign Permits (R)(DS), Signs – Inspections (R)(DS), Subdivisions – Applications (FOI)(DS), Subdivision – Preliminary Layout Approval (PLA)(FOI)(DS), Zoning – General Info & Regulations (R)(DS), Zoning – Individual Applications (FOI)(DS).

Infrastructure Services (IS):
Burial Permits personal info redacted (see also Cemetery)(R)(IS), Cemetery – issued licenses/permits & plaque permits personal info redacted (R)(IS), Garbage Collection/Recycling Calendar (R)(IS), Street Use Permits (R)(IS), Traffic Control – Complaints (FOI)(IS), Works & Services Agreement (R)(IS).

Bylaw Enforcement (BE):
Bylaw – Enforcement/Complaints (FOI)(BE), Illegal Suites – Complaints (FOI)(BE), Parking Tickets/Enforcement (FOI)(BE). Unsightly Premises – Complaints (FOI)(BE).

Fire/Rescue (FR):
Burning Permits (R)(FR), Fire Incident / Investigation Reports (FOI)(FR), Fire Inspection Reports (R)(FR).

Engineering (E):
Engineering Project Files (FOI)(E).

Parks Recreation & Culture (PRC):
Facilities – Municipally – Owned (FOI)(PRC), Recreation Programs – General Info (R)(PRC), Recreation Programs – Applications/Registrations (FOI)(PRC), Recreation Surveys (FOI)(PRC), Special Events/Occasion Permits (R)(PRC).

General Information in relation to commonly requested municipal topics, (Being researched)

Etiquette relating final drafts in R&D, we can help to provide a general estimate in relation to postal rates if asked & hopefully we will in short order be able to offer services to help the community start any mail campaigns seen as necessary. Through R&D we can also help each other craft e-petitions together too if a topic is beyond the scope of a single municipality. If we are able to research potential solutions or insightful opinions on proposals to the particular municipality & enough of us feel it worthwhile to share some/all the results, we can draft together & submit potential newsletters under the Municipal Watch name, final approval of what newsletters will be issued under that name is up to site administration, however keep in mind any person can undertake such on their own. We may host different types of fundraiser goals, some drafts may be time sensitive & won’t operate on a set fundraiser goal, just a minimum. This is all being further researched & planned currently though the website will start focused on research mostly. It is of note that some municipalities occasionally enact policy on community feedback based on the percentage of negative feedback, a practice worth researching further, if we are to provide opinions/solutions, we must be as clear & brief as possible well presenting both the topic that may not best serve public interest or the potential researched alternative opinions/solutions on the topic, we can always provide more details via link at the end of such newsletters. Granted not every topic needs to be broached with alternatives, though in our pursuit of excellence together here, we may at times be in such a position as to help offer the community such, one potential goal of this project is to simply help raise the communities overall awareness, again you are welcome to ask for us to highlight any topic, even if the only goal is to have help study the topic further.

Thank you for reviewing etiquette highlighted on this website, it is hoped it is of use to you, it will be updated a fair amount in the beginning & throughout, I am still studying & learning a great deal regarding etiquette on a vast array of topics, feel free to check in & leave feedback via e-mail or through the contact form especially if an aspect is seen as lacking, you have my best.

Additional links: