The Ombudsman determined that a meeting arranged by municipal staff to allow community members to discuss concerns about a sewage expansion project with the consulting firm leading the project was not subject to the open meeting rules, as it did not involve the exercise of council's authority or laying the groundwork for future council decision making. However, the Office advised the municipality that this type of closed-door gathering naturally raises public concerns about a lack of transparency.

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The Ombudsman found that Lambton Shores' Oversight Committee violated the open meeting requirements when it discussed matters pertaining to a proposed sewage treatment project behind closed doors on July 6 and August 28, 2012.  However, the Ombudsman found that a meeting held on October 4, 2012 arranged by municipal staff in Lambton Shores, South Huron, and Bluewater, and attended by four members of Lambton Shores Council, was not subject to the open meeting requirements.  

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