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Investigating Closed Municipal Meetings:
Frequently Asked Questions

Municipalities and local boards in Ontario are required to pass bylaws setting out the procedure for holding meetings. The law requires that public notice be given that a meeting will be held. All meetings must be open to the public unless they come within limited exceptions.

According to the City of Toronto Act, 2006 and the Municipal Act, 2001, any person may request an investigation into whether a municipality or local board has complied with the open meeting requirements or the procedural bylaw relating to any meeting or part of a meeting that was closed to the public.

If a municipality has not appointed an investigator, the Ombudsman of Ontario has authority to investigate complaints about closed meetings. The Ombudsman’s investigations are conducted at no cost to those who complain or to municipalities or local boards. The Ombudsman’s process respects the values of independence, impartiality, confidentiality and a credible investigative process and has been proven effective in resolving tens of thousands of cases per year in a timely manner.