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Municipality of Northern Bruce Peninsula

May 28, 201828 May 2018

The Ombudsman reviewed a closed meeting of council for the Municipality of Northern Bruce Peninsula to discuss an application made under the Land Titles Act for a property located within the municipality. During the Ombudsman’s review, the municipality raised the solicitor-client advice exception as applicable to the closed meeting. During the meeting, staff briefly referenced legal advice that the municipality had previously received. The Ombudsman found that the legal advice was only briefly mentioned and not discussed further by council. Accordingly, the discussion did not fit within the solicitor-client advice exception.

Municipality of Temagami

February 09, 201709 February 2017

The Ombudsman reviewed a closed meeting held by council for the Municipality of Temagami that relied on the exception for solicitor-client privilege to discuss correspondence from identifiable individuals. During the meeting, the clerk provided council with an overview of a conversation with legal counsel, including preliminary comments and legal advice related to the correspondence. The Ombudsman found that the discussion fit within the solicitor-client privilege exception.

Town of Amherstburg

July 06, 201606 July 2016

The Ombudsman reviewed a closed meeting held by council for the Town of Amherstburg to discuss a request for legal fee reimbursement by an identified individual. Council was provided with a confidential staff report on the matter including a copy of written legal advice obtained from external counsel. While council did not rely on the solicitor-client privilege exception, the Ombudsman considered whether it applied to the discussion. The Ombudsman found that council was provided with written legal advice from external counsel as well as legal advice conveyed by staff from the external counsel. Therefore, the discussion fit within the solicitor-client privilege exception.

Norfolk County

June 06, 201606 June 2016

The Ombudsman reviewed a closed meeting held by council-in-committee for Norfolk County that relied on the exception for solicitor-client privilege to discuss a request for proposals for a construction contract in the municipality. During the closed session, staff conveyed legal advice received regarding the vendors that had bid on the contract. The Ombudsman found that the discussion fit within the exception for solicitor-client privilege.

City of Owen Sound

November 26, 201526 November 2015

The Ombudsman reviewed a closed meeting held by council for the City of Owen Sound that relied on the exception for solicitor-client privilege to discuss a decision of the Supreme Court of Canada about prayer during council meetings. The municipality had a practice of beginning each meeting with a faith blessing. During the meeting, council discussed the contents of communications between staff and the municipality’s solicitor which provided legal advice related to council’s faith blessing. The Ombudsman found that the discussion fit within the exception for solicitor-client privilege.

City of London

June 12, 201512 June 2015

The Ombudsman reviewed a closed meeting held by the City of London’s Strategic Priorities and Policy Committee that relied on the exception for solicitor-client privilege to discuss the decommissioning of the old Victoria Hospital lands. The committee discussed legal advice conveyed by staff that was received from the municipality’s solicitor with respect to the process to decommission the site. The Ombudsman found that the discussion fit within the exception for solicitor-client privilege.