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City of Hamilton

June 21, 201921 June 2019

The City of Hamilton’s General Issues Committee met in closed session to discuss the municipality’s contribution to the local Canadian Football League team’s bid for the Grey Cup championship game. The committee cited the solicitor-client privilege exception, however the Ombudsman found that legal advice was not discussed during the closed session. The discussion did not fit within the exception.

Town of Petrolia

May 22, 201822 May 2018

The Ombudsman reviewed closed meetings held by council for the Town of Petrolia under the solicitor-client privilege exception. The municipality had received legal advice about a third party proposal respecting operation of the municipality’s community recreation centre. However, during the meeting, the legal advice was not discussed. The discussion did not fit in the exception.

Town of Deep River

October 03, 201703 October 2017

The Ombudsman reviewed a closed meeting held by council for the Town of Deep River that relied on the exception for solicitor-client privilege to discuss a police services consultation plan. Council had previously received written advice from its solicitors related to a former police chief’s contract, however that advice was not discussed during the in camera meeting. The Ombudsman found that the discussion was limited to whether and how information about the contract should be disclosed to the public. There was no solicitor or related communication. Accordingly, the Ombudsman found that the discussion did not 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 that relied on the exception for solicitor-client privilege to discuss potential performers at an upcoming festival. Although staff had contacted the municipality’s solicitor for legal advice about the festival, that advice was not conveyed to council during the closed session. The Ombudsman found that the discussion did not fit within the exception for solicitor-client privilege.

City of Port Colborne

November 19, 201519 November 2015

The Ombudsman reviewed a closed meeting held by council for the City of Port Colborne that relied on the exception for solicitor-client privilege to discuss a municipally-controlled corporation. The municipality had received legal advice on the company in the past. The municipality’s legal counsel was not present during the discussion and there was no evidence to suggest that legal advice was discussed. The Ombudsman found that the fact that legal advice has been previously received on a subject does not mean that all future discussions of that subject will fall within the exception for solicitor-client privilege. Therefore, the discussion did not fit within the exception.

Town of Midland

February 04, 201404 February 2014

The Ombudsman reviewed a closed meeting held by council for the Town of Midland that relied on the exception for solicitor-client privilege to discuss a council member’s request for indemnification of legal fees incurred as a police service board member. The Ombudsman found that the substance of the legal advice provided to the council member was not discussed. The focus of the discussion was on whether the legal bill qualified for reimbursement under the municipality’s policy. The Ombudsman found that the discussion did not fit with within the exception for solicitor-client privilege.