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The Ombudsman reviewed several electronic meetings held by the City of Richmond Hill where council’s resolution to go in camera was not broadcast live. The Ombudsman found that this contravened the requirements of section 239(4)(a) of the Act. The Ombudsman recommended that the City ensure that the public is able to observe all open portions of electronic meetings including the resolution to go in camera and any business conducted after rising from closed session. This recommendation includes meetings where the only item on the agenda is an in camera matter. The Ombudsman also recommended that the City ensure that information on how to access the live broadcast of an electronic meeting is provided in all meeting notices.
The Ombudsman reviewed a special meeting held by council for the Township of Russell via electronic participation. Members were permitted to participate electronically and be counted toward quorum as a state of emergency had been declared pursuant to the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act. The Ombudsman commended the Township for taking steps to ensure members of the public were advised of how to observe the live broadcast of the meeting and urged all municipalities to ensure electronic meetings are accessible to the public.