November 18, 201418 November 2014
The Ombudsman reviewed a closed meeting held by council for the City of Welland to discuss a marketing plan prepared by an economic development consultant. The meeting was closed under the security of the property exception. Council cited the exception because it wanted to protect its competitive advantage over neighbouring municipalities in attracting new business. The Ombudsman found that while the municipality has a property interest in its marketing plan, the subject matter of the closed session discussion was not protecting the marketing plan from loss or damage. Rather, the discussion involved sharing the marketing plan itself with council. Therefore, the discussion did not fit within the security of the property exception.