Online Communications Policy

Related procedures

G-COM-002-001 Website Content procedure
G-COM-002-002 Social Media Guidelines

Policy statement

The Corporation of the Town of Oakville (town) supports the use of online communications to promote open, inclusive communications in accordance with the town’s communication procedure, accessibility policy and any other related policies and procedures.

The town’s website www.oakville.ca is the town's primary source of information exchange with the community and is the town’s official Internet presence.  The town also supports the use of social media to further the communications goals of the town.

Purpose

The town’s website procedures must clearly set out the town’s:

  1. The purpose of this policy is to set out guidelines and standards for the town’s online communications such as websites, web-based applications and social media so residents can be assured they are receiving official information from the town.
  2. All online content on the town’s website and social media sites should:
    1. Be accurate, up-to-date, easy-to-find
    2. Be written in plain language
    3. Meet the requirements of the Accessible Information and Communication Standard (Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005)
    4. Enhance the reputation of the town
  3. The town’s website procedures must clearly set out the town’s:
    1. Privacy policy
    2. Disclaimer
    3. Legal Information
    4. Compliance with accessibility standards
  4. In addition to information and services about the town, the town’s website and social media sites may also contain content or external links of importance to the local community including information about other levels of government, local events and local community organizations.
  5. The town does not publish any ads submitted by an organization, business or individual on its website.
  6. The town will not publish any material used to promote individual political opinions or campaigns.
  7. The town will provide Members of Council with an individual template landing page on its oakville.ca website. Members of Council may link to external personal websites or include their personal social media feeds on their town web page. These linkages to external personal sites will be removed the date nomination papers are filed during a municipal election year.

Scope

This policy applies to the town’s corporate website, www.oakville.ca as well as to any other approved town website or web property.

This policy applies to all Members of Council and town staff participating in any online site or community that discusses the business of the Town of Oakville.

Definitions

Online communications: the exchange of information through the use of the Internet for any purpose (information sharing, marketing, public engagement)

Social media: online communities that facilitate two-way sharing of information. Popular examples include Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube

Official record: has the meaning given to it by the MFIPPA, and includes any record of information however recorded including letters, policies, emails

Transitory record: means a record that has temporary usefulness and is only required for the completion of a routine action, or until superseded

Personal information: means recorded information about an identifiable person as defined by the MFIPPA

Notice of collection: sets out the legal authority and purpose for the collection of personal information

Policy details

Policy Number: G-COM-002
Section: Governance
Sub-Section: Communications
Author: Strategy, Policy and Communications
Authority: Council
Effective Date: 2006 Jul 04
Review by Date: 2021
Last Modified: 2016 Nov 14

References

A-ISS-001 Information Technology General Use and Practices policy
G-COM-001 Public Notice and Engagement policy
G-COM-001-002 Communications procedure
HR-MNG-008-001 Rzone procedure
HR-MNG-006 Employee Code of Conduct policy
Procedure By-Law
Ontario Human Rights Code
Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (MFIPPA)
Access for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA)