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City of Owen Sound

June 05, 201405 June 2014

The Ombudsman reviewed a closed meeting held by council for the City of Owen Sound to discuss funding for an MRI machine. The Ombudsman made recommendations to improve the municipality’s closed meeting practices and procedures. The Ombudsman recommended that the municipality update its procedure by-law to provide notice of special meetings and to create a process for adding items to the meeting agenda.

Town of South Bruce Peninsula

July 07, 201007 July 2010

The Ombudsman reviewed closed meetings held by council for the Town of South Bruce Peninsula. The Ombudsman found that notice of the meetings was provided in accordance with the procedure by-law. However, in some cases, council discussed matters in closed session that were not included in the agenda that had been posted in advance. The Ombudsman recommended that in the interest of transparency and accountability, council should avoid discussing matters that were not the subject of prior notice, except in urgent situations. 

Township of Baldwin

May 23, 200923 May 2009

The Ombudsman reviewed a closed meeting held by council for the Township of Baldwin. The Ombudsman found that the municipality’s procedure by-law failed to adhere to the requirements of the Municipal Act, 2001 in a number of ways, including authorizing council to meet in closed session for reasons beyond the exceptions contained in the Act. The Ombudsman recommended that the municipality update its by-law to require notice for all meetings, properly reflect the Act’s closed meeting exceptions, establish agenda procedures, and require complete and accurate records for all council meetings.

Township of Emo

January 30, 200930 January 2009

The Ombudsman reviewed a meeting held by council for the Township of Emo. Notice of the meeting was provided in accordance with its procedure by-law. The notice provided for the minimum information required, the date, time and place of the meeting. The Ombudsman found that many municipalities require that an agenda listing the matters to be discussed be publicly posted in advance of the meeting  - a practice that is consistent with the intent of the open meeting rules. Advance public notice of a meeting should include all items to be considered at a meeting, including a general description of subjects to be considered in closed session. Items that have not been the subject of advance notice should only be considered in rare circumstances where urgency does not permit the normal notice requirements to be met, and after additional procedural requirements have been satisfied.