239(2)(g) Under another act

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Town of Amherstburg

June 29, 201829 June 2018

The Ombudsman reviewed closed meetings held by the Joint Police Advisory Committee and council for the Town of Amherstburg to discuss draft request for proposals for police services. Although not cited at the time, the clerk told the Ombudsman that the “permissible under another act” exception would have applied because the meetings could have been closed under the Police Services Act.  The Police Services Act lists two exceptions allowing closed meetings of the police services board. The Ombudsman found that there was no evidence that the committee considered whether the Police Services Act would apply to its discussions, and no evidence provided that the local police services board discussed the request for proposals in closed session under the Police Services Act. Accordingly, the Ombudsman found that this exception did not apply to the committee and council meetings.

Town of Grimsby

May 17, 201717 May 2017

The Ombudsman reviewed a meeting held by council for the Town of Grimsby held meetings in its capacity as a shareholder of Niagara Power Inc. The municipality suggested the Business Corporations Act permitted the meetings to be held in camera. The Ombudsman found that the Business Corporations Act sets out requirements for shareholders’ meetings, including with respect to notice and minute-taking. However, nothing in the Act explicitly permits these meetings to be closed to the public. Accordingly, the meetings did not fit within the exception for matters permissible to be closed under another act.

Municipality of Brockton (Walkerton BIA)

February 13, 201713 February 2017

The Ombudsman reviewed a meeting of a quorum of council for the Municipality of Brockton at an information session held under the Drainage Act. The purpose of the meeting was to provide affected residents information about matters related to an ongoing drainage petition. The Ombudsman found that the Drainage Act does not contain any provisions allowing council to hold a closed meeting while attending an information session. The municipality’s compliance with the procedural requirements for the Drainage Act does not relieve it from also complying with the open meeting requirements of the Municipal Act, 2001.

Township of Bonfield

November 23, 201523 November 2015

The Ombudsman reviewed a closed meeting held by the Public Works Committee for the Township of Bonfield to discuss the tender process for small equipment. The meeting was closed under the exception for matters permissible to be closed under another act. The municipality believed that the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act permitted the discussion to take place in closed session. The Ombudsman found that the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act does not contain provisions which permit tender discussions to occur in closed session. Therefore, the discussion did not fit within the exception for matters permissible to be closed under another act.

City of Hamilton

April 22, 201522 April 2015

The Ombudsman reviewed a closed meeting held by the General Issues Committee for the City of Hamilton to discuss a confidential appendix to a report that included information about a parcel of land the municipality was considering purchasing. The meeting was closed under the exception for matters permissible to be closed under another act. The committee relied on the exception because the local police services board had previously discussed the matter in closed session under the Police Services Act. The police service board relied on the “intimate personal/financial matters” exception in the Police Services Act to hold the discussion in closed session. The Ombudsman found that the discussion fit within the exception for matters permissible to be closed under another act.

Town of Amherstburg

January 06, 201206 January 2012

The Ombudsman reviewed a closed meeting held by council to discuss appointments to the local library board and police services board. The meeting was closed under the exception for matters permissible to be closed under another act. Council believed that the Public Libraries Act and the Police Services Act permit appointments to be made in closed session. The Ombudsman found that neither act contains provisions which permit appointments in closed session. Therefore, the discussion did not fit within the exception for matters permissible to be closed under another act.