Deputation policy for stakeholders

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    Policy Owner: Corporate Governance
    Approval: Board of Directors
    First Approved: February 2005
    Effective Date: November 2010

    Summary of policy

    This policy provides guidelines for using deputations as a means to further inform the Board of Directors of Toronto Community Housing on an item that is before them. The Policy confirms Toronto Community Housing’s commitment to the consideration of stakeholder opinion and input.


    Toronto Community Housing has a commitment toward open and transparent decision making and tenant input into decisions that have an impact in their community. In January 2002 the Toronto Community Housing Board of Directors approved the Interim Deputation Policy. The aim of the Interim Deputation Policy was to provide tenants with an opportunity to advise the Board of an important piece of information that they felt was missing in the Board’s knowledge of the agenda item before them.

    Corporate-wide decisions that require Board approval or information are generally at a high level reflecting policy, principles, Toronto Community Housing’s reputation and/or financial management. Even in those cases, implementation decisions of Board approved items/initiatives are most often left for local consideration and decision making. It is important that, prior to Board deliberations, Toronto Community Housing ensures that stakeholders have been provided with an opportunity to provide input into Toronto Community Housing decisions that have an impact on their community.

    Through the engagement processes that Toronto Community Housing has in place the Board is assured that stakeholders have the opportunity to provide input and influence related to Toronto Community Housing items before those items reach the Board. There are a number of ways in which tenants and other stakeholders provide input into items going before the Board, including through: Tenant Representatives, Neighbourhood Councils, local business planning, focus groups, building level meetings and theme groups. Deputations are an additional avenue where stakeholders can provide input to the Board on decision-making items before them.


    The purpose of this policy is to further enhance Toronto Community Housing’s commitment to ensuring that tenants and staff have input on decisions that directly affect them. This policy sets out the framework for principles and guidelines for deputations to the Toronto Community Housing Board.

    Application of policy

    This policy applies to tenants, staff and other stakeholders of Toronto Community Housing Corporation.

    This policy applies to matters that are on the public agenda of the Toronto Community Housing Board of Directors or Committees of the Board.

    Policy statement

    Toronto Community Housing provides a range of mechanisms for stakeholder input in the development of key policies and corporate plans. Where stakeholders feel that their input has not been captured in the report before the Board, deputations provide an alternate method of input to the Committees of the Board and to the Board of Directors itself.

    Principles of the deputation policy

    • Commitment to open and transparent decision- making

    • Access to decisions that impact stakeholders

    • Policy-making processes that contribute to building partnerships with stakeholders

    • Tenants and staff have input into decisions that directly affect them

    • Respect for Toronto Community Housing values and policies

    • Deputations benefit stakeholders, committee members and the board

    Policy guidelines

    • All items under consideration by the Board that have a direct impact on tenants and/or staff will have received input from those affected before recommendations are made to the committee or Board.

    • Deputations may be made on all public agenda items at meetings of the Committees of the Board or the Board of Directors.

    • Deputations to the Board should further the Director’s understanding of the issue.

    • Deputations are not a forum for debate between deputants and Directors, but are to be used as an opportunity for sharing information and clarifying issues.

    • Reports to Committee and the Board will include information on the involvement of stakeholders including a summary of concerns/issues/support raised by stakeholders

    • Committee reports to the Board will clearly identify that deputations were received and the Committee Chair will record and inform the Board of:

      • the type of consultation undertaken, including Stakeholder contributions through deputation at Committee meetings,

      • how stakeholder input affected the decision or recommendations.

      • written deputations will be appended to the meeting minutes.

    • The Board will consider deputations in the context of the broader stakeholders input considered in the Board/Committee report and recommendations.

    • Deputants are requested to inform the Board Secretary of their intent to depute one day in advance of the meeting in order that the Chair may confirm that the deputation is related to the recommendations before the Board/Committee.

    • While it is preferred that deputants inform the Board Secretary of their intention to depute it is not a requirement, however stakeholders who wish to ensure that their concerns can be adequately addressed by Directors at the meeting may submit a written or alternate format* copy of their deputation at least 3 days ahead of the meeting in order to allow enough time for:

    1. the distribution of deputation materials to Board/Committee members for their review prior to the meeting
    2. information-gathering by the Board/Committee Chair and/or Board/Committee members
    3. briefing of Board/Committee members on the issues raised
    4. clarification of issues/concerns raised

    *Alternative formats will be accepted in cases where accommodation for a disability is required

    • At the start of each public meeting the Chair will poll the attendees to identify those wishing to depute to public items on the agenda. Only those deputants who identify themselves through the Chair’s poll, or who have informed the Board Secretary prior to the meeting of their intention to depute, will be heard when their item arises.

    • Deputants may only depute once on the same item.

    • The Chair will generally hold deputations to 5 minutes to ensure that all deputants have an opportunity to speak and Board/Committee members have the time and opportunity to ask questions or engage in discussion of key issues.

    • In keeping with Toronto Community Housing values and policies, the Chair is responsible for ensuring that the behaviour of all parties to the process is respectful and is not damaging towards any tenant, stakeholder, Director or Toronto Community Housing staff.

    Education and communication strategies

    • Toronto Community Housing will inform tenants and staff of the deputation policy and related expectations by postings in Operating Unit offices and on the Toronto Community Housing internet site.

    • Tenant Representatives will receive a copy of the policy.

    • Every attempt will be made to have Board and Committee public agendas available in Operating Unit offices and on the Internet up to 10 days before the meeting.

    Annual requirements

    • Information on Committees’ mandates and functions, and meeting schedules will be made available to stakeholders.

    • Annual workplans for the Board and Committees will be kept as up to date as possible and will be available on the Internet.


    • Toronto Community Housing will make the policy publicly available on our website.

    • written deputations will be appended to Committee meeting minutes going forward to the Board and form part of the Toronto Community Housing public record.

    Policy review

    This policy will be reviewed periodically as part of Toronto Community Housing’s overall policy review cycle. The policy review will include feedback from tenants, staff and stakeholders.


    Approved by the Toronto Community Housing Board of Directors, November 2010.

    Policy contact

    Corporate Governance