by-law enforcement

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Municipality of Northern Bruce Peninsula

April 21, 202021 April 2020

The Ombudsman received a complaint regarding the November 25, 2019 closed meeting of council for the Municipality of Northern Bruce Peninsula. The complaint alleged that council’s discussion did not fit within the Municipal Act’s closed meeting exceptions. During the meeting, council discussed written legal advice from its solicitor regarding a by-law enforcement matter where litigation had been specifically threatened. Staff also provided a report to council summarizing the matter and providing additional information about several identified individuals. The Ombudsman found that council’s discussion fit within the advice subject to solicitor-client privilege closed meeting exception. 

Township of West Lincoln

November 23, 201523 November 2015

The Ombudsman reviewed a closed meeting held by the Administration/Finance/Fire Committee for the Township of West Lincoln that relied on the exception for solicitor-client privilege to discuss enforcement of a site alteration by-law. The municipality’s solicitor was not present during the meeting, nor was new legal advice considered during the meeting. The committee had received numerous legal opinions at prior closed meetings regarding the site alteration by-law and incorporated the advice into its discussion during the closed meeting under review. The Ombudsman found that it was not necessary for the committee to discuss new legal advice during the closed meeting. The discussion fit within the solicitor-client exception.

Township of West Lincoln

November 23, 201523 November 2015

The Ombudsman reviewed a closed meeting held by the Administration/Finance/Fire Committee for the Township of West Lincoln to discuss by-law enforcement. The closed meeting relied on the personal matters exception. During the discussion, the committee identified properties where fill was being dumped contrary to a site alteration by-law. The discussion did not identify any individuals by name. The Ombudsman found that the municipal locations and estimated market values of certain properties did not constitute personal information about an individual property owner. 

City of Timmins

November 14, 201314 November 2013

The Ombudsman reviewed a closed meeting held by council for the City of Timmins to consider a complaint against a resident with respect to a zoning by-law infraction. The meeting relied on the personal matters exception. During the closed meeting, council received delegations from the complainant and a resident. The Ombudsman found that council’s discussion fit within the personal matters exception because information was presented to council that involved an investigation or assessment of the performance or alleged improper conduct of the property owner.