competitive advantage

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City of Welland

November 18, 201418 November 2014

The Ombudsman reviewed a closed meeting held by council for the City of Welland to discuss whether the municipality should support a bid by a local corporation to host the 2016 Pan American canoe sprint championships. The meeting was closed under the security of the property exception. Council cited the exception because it believed the chance of a successful bid would be diminished if detailed information about the bid was made public. The Ombudsman found that the discussion did not fit within the security of the property exception because council did not discuss preventing loss or damage to the bid. Although council had a desire to maintain confidentiality to protect the interests of the city, section 239(2)(a) of the Municipal Act, 2001 does not apply to a matter that is only considered sensitive or confidential, or against the municipality’s interests to discuss publicly.

City of Welland

November 18, 201418 November 2014

The Ombudsman reviewed a closed meeting held by council for the City of Welland to discuss a marketing plan prepared by an economic development consultant. The meeting was closed under the security of the property exception. Council cited the exception because it wanted to protect its competitive advantage over neighbouring municipalities in attracting new business. The Ombudsman found that while the municipality has a property interest in its marketing plan, the subject matter of the closed session discussion was not protecting the marketing plan from loss or damage. Rather, the discussion involved sharing the marketing plan itself with council. Therefore, the discussion did not fit within the security of the property exception.