Renovate the Public Hearing Project


April 2023

The British Columbia Law Institute has just begun a project to reform local-government public hearings. Currently, public hearings give the public a forum to comment on a proposed bylaw regulating the use of land. Critics have questioned whether B.C.’s legislation on public hearings is really advancing public participation and democratic engagement.

Is there a better way to engage the public and reduce pre-development risk and barriers to housing? BCLI seeks to answer this question in the Renovate the Public Hearing Project.

Working with an expert project committee and building on BCLI’s previous study of the origins, development, and current state of the law on public hearings, BCLI will make recommendations for specific reforms to the Local Government Act and related legislation. These recommendations will also draw on an important component of the project: its Reconciliation and Community Listening Exploration Series, which will consider how reforms to the law on public hearings can be aligned with Indigenous governance.

BCLI is grateful to carry out this project with the SFU Wosk Centre for Dialogue and with funding from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp.

For more information, visit