hydro company

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City of Niagara Falls

May 05, 202205 May 2022

The Ombudsman received a complaint alleging that meetings of the Board of Directors of the Niagara Falls Hydro Holding Corporation are improperly closed to the public in contravention of the Municipal Act, 2001. The Ombudsman’s review found that the corporation is a municipally-controlled corporation and not subject to the open meeting rules found in the Municipal Act, 2001. The Ombudsman also determined that the corporation has not violated its internal meeting rules in closing its Board meetings to the public.

Town of Grimsby

November 14, 201614 November 2016

The Ombudsman reviewed a closed meeting held by council for the Town of Grimsby to discuss a municipally-controlled corporation, Niagara Power Inc. The meeting was closed under the security of the property exception. Council discussed whether to obtain a valuation of a municipally-owned corporation. The Ombudsman found that the exception applies to discussions about protecting municipally-owned corporeal and incorporeal property from loss or damage. The discussion about valuation did not fit within the exception for the security of the property of the municipality since there was no apparent threat to the municipally-controlled corporation.

Town of Grimsby

November 14, 201614 November 2016

The Ombudsman reviewed a closed meeting held by council for the Town of Grimsby to discuss obtaining a business valuation of Niagara Power Inc., a municipally-controlled corporation. Council also discussed the sensitive nature of obtaining a valuation. Although it did not rely on the acquisition or disposition of land exception, the municipality suggested it might apply to council’s discussion. The Ombudsman found that the acquisition or disposition of land exception would not apply to the discussion since there were no pending or proposed land deals discussed.

Town of Grimsby

November 14, 201614 November 2016

The Ombudsman reviewed a closed meeting held by council for the Town of Grimsby to discuss a municipally-controlled corporation, relying on the litigation or potential litigation exception. During the closed session, council discussed a proposal to obtain a business valuation of the corporation. The municipality believed that the business valuation of the corporation was sensitive business information that should remain confidential. The discussion referenced an ongoing arbitration process involving the municipality, however the arbitration was not the focus of the discussion. The Ombudsman found that binding arbitration may be akin to litigation. However, the discussion did not fit within the litigation or potential litigation exception because there was no evidence that the discussion involved current or pending litigation.

Town of Grimsby

November 14, 201614 November 2016

The Ombudsman reviewed a closed meeting held by council for the Town of Grimsby to discuss a municipally-controlled corporation, Niagara Power Inc. During the closed session, council discussed a proposal to obtain a business valuation of the corporation. Although it did not rely on the labour relations or employee negotiations exception, the municipality suggested it may apply to the discussion. Council did not discuss any specific information about employees or labour negotiations. The Ombudsman found that a discussion about the potential impact a valuation may have on the corporation’s employees does not fit within the labour relations or employee negotiations exception.