Council must hold a public hearing to obtain public input on matters that have a significant impact on the citizens and property owners in the municipality, under The Municipal Act.  Council can hold a public hearing on any other matter it chooses, even where a public hearing is not required by legislation. 

Requirements for public hearings recognize the important role that the public plays in the decision-making process.  The public hearing enables Council to provide comprehensive information on a proposal to citizens and obtain their input on the proposal before making a final decision. 

Examples of when a public hearing is required:
•    Presentation of the annual financial plan of the municipality
•    Revisions to the operating budget that increases transfers from surplus and reserves or tax revenue, or increases estimates in the capital budget
•    Long-term borrowing by the municipality for capital projects, if not included in the annual financial plan of the municipality
•    Proposal to close a municipal road
•    Proposal for local improvements / special services
•    Proposal to adopt or amend a development plan or zoning by-law

Council Role at Public Hearings
All council members are required by The Municipal Act to attend public hearings unless they are excused by council, are ill or have declared a conflict of interest in a matter before council. 

Citizen Attendance at Public Hearings
Citizens are encouraged to attend and participate at public hearings; public input is important to the decision-making process.

General Information
The Chair of the public hearing has the right to limit the time taken by a person to ten (10) minutes, after which council may wish to ask questions of the person.  All questions must be channelled through the Chair of the hearing.
The Chair of the public hearing may decline to hear further presentations, questions or objections where he is satisfied that the matter has been addressed at the public hearing.
The Chair of the public hearing may limit presentations to R.M. of Bifrost residents and electors only.
The Chair of the public hearing may require any person, who is in the opinion of the Chair, conducting himself in a disorderly or improper conduct, to leave the public hearing and if that person fails to do so, may cause that person to be removed.
If a public hearing is adjourned, the council shall provide a public notice of the date, time and place of the continuation of the hearing, unless information is announced at the adjournment of the hearing.