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City of St. Catharines

February 14, 201914 February 2019

The Ombudsman reviewed a closed meeting held by council for the City of St. Catharines to discuss a proposed staff position, government relations adviser. The meeting was closed under the negotiations exception. During the discussion, there were passing references to municipal projects involving the provincial government that could potentially become part of the new position’s portfolio of responsibilities. The Ombudsman found that the discussion did not fit within the negotiations exception because it focused on determining the role and nature of a new staff position, including employment details, rather than specifically formulating a detailed course of action with respect to current or future negotiations involving municipal-provincial projects. In addition, the discussion did not involve any information that could undermine the city’s bargaining position in future negotiations.

City of St. Catharines

February 14, 201914 February 2019

The Ombudsman reviewed a closed meeting that was held by council for the City of St. Catharines to discuss a proposed staff position, government relations adviser, under the labour relations or employee negotiations exception. Council’s discussion focused on the role and nature of the proposed staff position, including the position’s general responsibilities and duties, salary, and contract length. The Ombudsman found that the discussion did not fit within the labour relations or employee negotiations exception because the discussion did not pertain to the relationship between the municipality and its employees or reference specific individuals who might be hired.

City of London

March 01, 201701 March 2017

The Ombudsman reviewed a closed meeting held by the Corporate Services Committee for the City of London to discuss the hiring policy for senior staff, relying on the solicitor-client privilege exception. The municipality informed the Ombudsman that municipal solicitors were present during the closed session and provided legal advice, and that nothing else was addressed. The Ombudsman noted that some municipalities choose to waive solicitor-client privilege and provide privileged information during an investigation. The Ombudsman found that the discussion fit within the solicitor-client privilege exception.

City of Timmins

January 23, 201723 January 2017

The Ombudsman reviewed a closed meeting held by council for the City of Timmins, which relied on the personal matters exception to discuss the upcoming retirement of the chief administrative officer (CAO). Council discussed the CAO’s salary and the recruitment process to hire a new CAO. There were no candidates identified or discussed during the meeting. The Ombudsman found that general consideration of a hiring process is not personal information and does not fit within the personal matters exception unless the discussion is incidental or brief. Therefore, council’s discussion about the recruitment process did not fit within the personal matters exception.

Town of Amherstburg

December 15, 201415 December 2014

The Ombudsman reviewed a closed meeting held by council for the Town of Amherstburg that relied on the labour relations or employee negotiations exception to discuss the selection process for a new Chief Administrative Officer (CAO).Council discussed the résumé and qualifications of an identifiable individual who applied for the position, expressed opinions about the individual, and considered sending the candidate an offer of employment. The Ombudsman found that the labour relations or employee negotiations exception could apply to council’s discussion.

Town of Amherstburg

December 15, 201415 December 2014

The Ombudsman reviewed a closed meeting held by council for the Town of Amherstburg that relied on the exception for solicitor-client privilege to discuss the selection process for a new Chief Administrative Officer (CAO). Council discussed the qualifications of an identifiable individual who applied for the position and expressed opinions about the individual. Throughout the discussion, the municipality’s solicitor provided advice. The Ombudsman found that the parts of the discussion related to the solicitor’s advice fit within the exception for solicitor-client privilege.

Township of Baldwin

December 09, 201409 December 2014

The Ombudsman reviewed a closed meeting held by council for the Township of Baldwin to discuss the qualification of candidates for a staff position. The meeting was closed under the labour relations or employee negotiations exception. Council discussed the applications and the possibility of extending an offer to a potential future employee. The Ombudsman found that the labour relations or employee negotiations exception refers to the collective relationship between an employer and its employees. Therefore, the discussion fit within the labour relations or employee negotiations exception.

Township of Baldwin

December 09, 201409 December 2014

The Ombudsman reviewed a closed meeting held by council for the Township of Baldwin to discuss candidates for the job of municipal works foreman. Council discussed the applications, résumés, work histories, and the possibility of extending an offer to one of the candidates. Individual councillors expressed opinions on which candidate would be best suited for the job and on the candidates’ qualifications. Although the municipality did not rely upon it, the Ombudsman found that council’s discussion fit within the personal matters exception.