August 02, 201902 August 2019
The Ombudsman received a complaint about a gathering that two council members attended on April 14, 2019. Council for Lambton Shores is composed of nine council members. The new definition of "meeting" in the Municipal Act, 2001 requires that a quorum of members be physically present in order for a gathering to be subject to open meeting requirements.
May 16, 201916 May 2019
The Ombudsman received a complaint that councillors had informally discussed a matter in private prior to the council meeting on January 10, 2019, contrary to the Municipal Act. The Ombudsman did not find any evidence that council contravened the Municipal Act’s meeting provisions when the Mayor spoke with a small number of councillors-elect at two gatherings before new councillors were sworn in. However, the Ombudsman cautioned that municipalities should be careful about having councillors-elect meet privately in this manner due to concerns about openness and transparency.
February 22, 201922 February 2019
Members of council for the City of Hamilton did not contravene the open meeting rules in the Municipal Act, 2001 when they exchanged emails regarding a vacant council seat in June 2018. The new definition of “meeting” in the Act requires that a quorum be present, such that an exchange of emails cannot be considered a meeting subject to the open meeting rules. In the interest of openness and transparency, municipal councils should continue to avoid conducting business outside of a formal meeting.
June 29, 201829 June 2018
The Ombudsman reviewed an informal gathering of three council members after a regular council meeting for the Township of Front of Yonge. The Ombudsman found that the three council members may have remained in council chambers after the regular meeting had finished, however, they did not discuss council business. Accordingly, an improper meeting did not occur.