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Township of The North Shore

June 29, 201829 June 2018

The Ombudsman reviewed a closed meeting held by council for the Township of The North Shore to discuss payment of remuneration for volunteer firefighters. During the closed session, council discussed legal advice previously obtained from the municipality’s solicitor. Accordingly, although not cited by the municipality, the Ombudsman found that the discussion fit within the solicitor-client advice exception.

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.

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.

Township of West Lincoln

November 23, 201523 November 2015

The Ombudsman reviewed a closed meeting held by the Administration/Finance/Fire Committee for the Township of West Lincoln that relied on the exception for solicitor-client privilege to discuss enforcement of a site alteration by-law. The municipality’s solicitor was not present during the meeting, nor was new legal advice considered during the meeting. The committee had received numerous legal opinions at prior closed meetings regarding the site alteration by-law and incorporated the advice into its discussion during the closed meeting under review. The Ombudsman found that it was not necessary for the committee to discuss new legal advice during the closed meeting. The discussion fit within the solicitor-client exception.

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.