This includes discussions:
• About a position, plan, procedure, criteria, or instruction;
• Where the information is intended to be applied to negotiations carried on by the municipality or local board; and
• The negotiations are ongoing or will be carried out in the future
This does not include discussions:
• In the absence of related negotiations
• Where negotiations are concluded
This exception was introduced on January 1, 2018, through changes to the Municipal Act, 2001.
June 21, 201921 June 2019
The City of Hamilton’s General Issues Committee met in closed session to discussion the municipality’s contribution to the local Canadian Football League (CFL) team’s bid for the Grey Cup championship game. The committee cited the negotiations exception when it moved in camera. During the discussion the committee reviewed staff’s negotiations with the CFL team up to that point, and discussed whether or not to approve a recommended financial contribution. The committee also provided staff with specific steps on how to proceed in negotiations. The Ombudsman found that the four-part test for the exception for negotiations was satisfied because while in camera, the committee formulated a plan and directed staff with respect to the municipality’s ongoing negotiations with the CFL team.
February 14, 201914 February 2019
The Ombudsman reviewed a closed meeting held by council for the City of St. Catharines to discuss a proposed staff position, government relations adviser. The meeting was closed under the negotiations exception. During the discussion, there were passing references to municipal projects involving the provincial government that could potentially become part of the new position’s portfolio of responsibilities. The Ombudsman found that the discussion did not fit within the negotiations exception because it focused on determining the role and nature of a new staff position, including employment details, rather than specifically formulating a detailed course of action with respect to current or future negotiations involving municipal-provincial projects. In addition, the discussion did not involve any information that could undermine the city’s bargaining position in future negotiations.