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The Ombudsman reviewed meetings held by council for the Town of Grimsby in its capacity as a shareholder of Niagara Power Inc. that occurred without notice to the public. The municipality suggested council was entitled to meet in its capacity as shareholder of the corporation under the Business Corporations Act, and that the meetings were not subject to the open meeting rules. The Ombudsman found that the municipality is the majority shareholder of Niagara Power Inc., but that individual members of council are not shareholders. When the company holds a shareholders’ meeting, council is invited to attend in its capacity as the representative of the town. Accordingly, the Ombudsman found that the municipality must provide public notice of the meetings in accordance with the Municipal Act, 2001. The Ombudsman also provided best practice examples for conducting shareholder meetings for municipally controlled corporations from other municipalities.
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.