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Township of Russell

May 25, 201825 May 2018

The Ombudsman reviewed a closed meeting held by council for the Township of Russell. A member of the public made a motion for council to move into closed session. The Ombudsman noted that the Municipal Act, 2001 provides that the powers of a municipality shall be exercised by council. The Ombudsman also noted that there is nothing in the Township’s procedure by-law that permits a non-council member to move or second a motion during a meeting of council.

Township of McKellar

December 04, 201504 December 2015

The Ombudsman reviewed a closed meeting held by the Economic Development Committee for the Township of McKellar to discuss comments about the committee made by two councillors and two members of the public. The meeting was closed under the personal matters exception. The committee’s discussion focused on the conduct and comments of the councillors, the two members of the public, and ways the committee could respond to that conduct.

The Ombudsman found that the discussion about the conduct of the two members of the public fit within the personal matters exception. Normally, the discussion about the conduct of the two councillors would not fit within the exception, as it related to the individuals’ conduct in their official roles as councillors. However, the Ombudsman found that it is unrealistic to expect the committee to have parsed the discussion about the members of the public from that of the councillors when the two discussion topics were directly related.

Township of McKellar

December 04, 201504 December 2015

The Ombudsman reviewed a closed meeting held by the Economic Development Committee for the Township of McKellar to discuss the appointment of a member of the public to the committee. The meeting was closed citing the personal matters exception. The committee discussed the conduct of the member of the public. The committee also discussed the implications, both negative and positive, of accepting the application. The Ombudsman found that by discussing the individual’s conduct, the committee revealed inherently personal information about the individual. 

Town of Cochrane

January 12, 201512 January 2015

The Ombudsman reviewed a closed meeting held by council for the Town of Cochrane, which relied on the personal matters exception to discuss a contract with a specific member of the public. In addition to professional information, council’s discussion included information about the individual’s credibility and conduct. Although the exception does not apply to professional or business information about an individual, information will be considered personal information where an individual’s conduct is scrutinized. The Ombudsman found that council’s discussion fit within the personal matters exception.

Town of Amherstburg

December 15, 201415 December 2014

The Ombudsman reviewed a closed meeting held by council for the Town of Amherstburg, which relied o the closed meeting exception to discuss the selection process for a new Chief Administrative Officer (CAO). Council discussed the qualifications of an identifiable candidate and expressed opinions about the individual. Council also discussed the conduct of a member of the public who had emailed council expressing opinions about a candidate for the CAO position. The Ombudsman found that the discussion fit within the personal matters exception.

City of Owen Sound

June 05, 201405 June 2014

The Ombudsman reviewed a closed meeting held by council for the City of Owen Sound that relied on the personal matters exception to discuss withdrawing a funding pledge to a local hospital for the purchase of an MRI machine. During the discussion, the mayor mentioned meeting with an identified individual from local health services. The Ombudsman found that a passing reference or general remark made about a meeting between a member of council and a member of the public in his or her professional capacity does not bring a discussion within the parameters of the personal matters exception.

Municipality of Powassan

February 06, 201306 February 2013

The Ombudsman reviewed a closed meeting held by council for the Municipality of Powassan. The meeting relied on the personal matters exception to discuss a staff report concerning the development of a local rental property by a resident. The name of the resident and the details of the rental property were included in the staff report. The Ombudsman found that council’s discussion did not reveal any personal information about the individual that was not already public knowledge. Therefore, the discussion did not fit within the personal matters exception. 

City of Niagara Falls

May 29, 201229 May 2012

The Ombudsman reviewed a closed meeting held by council for the City of Niagara Falls. Council met in closed session to discuss security concerns related to a member of the public. The meeting was closed under the security of the property exception. The municipality’s solicitor was also present during the discussion. The Ombudsman found that the discussion did not fit within the security of the property exception since council’s discussion did not involve security of the municipality’s property. The Ombudsman noted that a more appropriate exception would have been “personal matters about an identifiable individual” or “advice that is subject to solicitor-client privilege.”