Public Information

Citizens' Council

Council Meetings

A typical Council meeting runs for one evening and two full-day sessions, beginning on Friday evening and ending on Sunday afternoon. Members are advised of the meeting dates, location and topics to be discussed at least two months in advance. A typical council meeting would be as follows:

Friday – registration, meeting purpose and discussion topic intro and briefing
Saturday – discussion briefing and deliberative dialogue
Sunday –dialogue and discussion, begin preparing Council report

New members will also receive orientation on the process prior to their first official meeting with existing Council members.

Be an Observer

Citizens’ Council meetings are conducted in as transparent a manner as possible, and as such portions of the Council deliberations are open to public observation.

At least 30 days prior to each Council meeting, members of the public who have applied to observe will receive an invitation to attend the “open” portions of the educational sessions of Council meetings as observers. The number of available spaces is dependent on size of the venue.

Public observers are not considered to be members of the Council. Public observers may include:

  • Members of the public who are over 16 years of age
  • Members of the press
  • Representatives from pharmaceutical or healthcare organizations
  • Representatives from patient advocacy groups

Certain portions of the Citizens’ Council meetings may be “closed” to observers at the discretion of the presenter and Council Chair or Executive Officer. This includes:

  • presentations that contain confidential information such as academic work, proprietary information,
  • patient or layperson testimonies, and
  • Council deliberations in order to foster an environment of frank and open deliberative dialogue between members.
Registration Process to be an observer

Individuals who would like to attend the “open” portions of educational sessions as observers are required to apply and pre-register with prior to each Citizens’ Council meeting by contacting the ministry:

By mail at:
Ontario Public Drug Programs
Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care
80 Grosvenor Street, Hepburn Block
9th Floor, Queens Park
Toronto ON M7A 1R3
Attn : Citizens’ Council –Request to Observe

Or e-mail at Subject line: Citizens’ Council - Request to Observe

Although we will try to accommodate all observer applicants, the number of spaces is limited. Accordingly, we cannot guarantee that all those wishing to observe Citizens’ Council meetings will be admitted to the meeting room.

In the event that the number of applicants exceeds space, to allow for wider public access, Ontario Public Drug Programs in consultation with the Chair of the Citizens’ Council, has the discretion to decide who can attend, and observers’ spaces may be determined based upon the following criteria:

  • whether individual has had an opportunity to observe a meeting before (including but not limited to whether they have been asked to leave a meeting before due to inappropriate conduct)
  • whether the individual has particular interests which would make their attendance relevant
  • delegations of more than two people from the same organization (press, pharmaceutical, healthcare, or patient advocacy group etc.) will be admitted to the meeting, only if space permits

At least 30 days prior to the next Council meeting, applicants will be contacted to let them know whether an observer space has been secured for them. Details of meeting logistics, observer role and protocol will also be provided to those who have been selected to attend.

Requests for media interviews should be made through usual channels via the ministry’s media line at 416-314-6197 (in Toronto), or 1-888-414-4774 (toll-free).

For More Information

For general enquiries about the Citizens' Council please email us at :

Call ServiceOntario, Infoline at 1-866-532-3161
TTY 1-800-387-5559.
In Toronto, TTY 416-327-4282
Hours of operation : 8:30am - 5:00pm