notice (lack of)

FILTER BY:

City of Hamilton

October 04, 201904 October 2019

The Ombudsman found that the change in the start time of the City of Hamilton’s City Manager recruitment Steering Committee on February 9, 2019, did not violate the Municipal Act or the city’s procedure by-law, as it was within the notice requirement set out in the by-law. However, the Ombudsman noted that the city failed to ensure that the new meeting start time was updated in all areas on its website.

Municipality of Lambton Shores

August 02, 201902 August 2019

The Ombudsman received a complaint about a special meeting held by the Municipality of Lambton Shores on April 15, 2019. The complaint alleged the public did not receive notice for the special meeting held by council at 12:00 p.m. The municipality posted the public notice for the special meeting on April 14 at 6:40 p.m. on the municipality’s website, in accordance with its procedure by-law. The municipality’s procedure by-law allowed for public notice of special meetings to be provided “as soon as practical.” The Ombudsman provided best practice suggestions related to the procedure by-law and requiring a public notice period for special meetings.

Municipality of Temagami

May 16, 201916 May 2019

The Ombudsman received a complaint that council for the Municipality of Temagami did not provide notice of its January 10 and March 28, 2019 meetings. The complaint alleged that no notice was provided for the January 10 meeting and that conflicting and inaccurate notice was provided for the March 28 meeting. The Ombudsman’s review identified administrative issues with the meeting notice provided for the closed meetings on January 10 and March 28, 2019. The municipality acknowledged these errors and said that it had already taken steps to improve its processes.

Municipality of Callander

October 31, 201831 October 2018

The Ombudsman reviewed a special meeting of the committee of the whole for the Municipality of Callander. The municipality was unable to provide evidence that the notice of the meeting was provided to the public in accordance with the municipality’s procedure by-law which required that notice be posted at least 48 hours before the meeting online and in the municipal offices. The Ombudsman found that notice was posted less than 36 hours before the meeting.

Township of Tehkummah

May 31, 201831 May 2018

The Ombudsman reviewed a special meeting held by council for the Township of Tehkummah. Through inadvertence, the municipality failed to post notice of a special meeting in accordance with the procedure by-law. The Ombudsman wrote to remind the municipality of its obligations under the open meeting rules.

City of Hamilton

May 17, 201817 May 2018

The Ombudsman reviewed meetings held by the Waste Management Advisory Committee for the City of Hamilton. The committee is a committee of council subject to the open meeting rules, as at least 50% of its members are members of council. The municipality failed to post notice of two meetings of the committee in contravention of the Act. While the municipality posted a regular meeting time for the committee on its website, it did not indicate a location. The two meetings in question also took place at a time different from that posted. The Ombudsman recommended the municipality ensure it always provide notice before meetings of the committee, and that the municipality amend its procedure by-law to provide for notice of advisory committee meetings.

Town of Kirkland Lake

November 21, 201721 November 2017

The Ombudsman reviewed several meetings of the Recreation Committee for the Town of Kirkland Lake which occurred without public notice. The Ombudsman determined that the committee was a committee of council, and therefore subject to the open meeting requirements of the Municipal Act, 2001. The Ombudsman found that the committee failed to provide public notice of its meetings, and therefore, the meetings were not open to the public.

City of Elliot Lake

December 22, 201622 December 2016

The Ombudsman reviewed two meetings of the Ad Hoc Multi-Use Complex Committee for the City of Elliot Lake. The committee’s procedure by-law requires public notice be posted on a bulletin board. As a general practice, the municipality also posts notice of its meetings on the municipal website, however, this was not done for the two committee meetings under review. The Ombudsman found that the municipality failed to provide notice of the two meetings on either the bulletin board or the website.

Township of Hornepayne

December 13, 201613 December 2016

The Ombudsman reviewed a special meeting held by the Nuclear Waste Community Liaison Committee for the Township of Hornepayne. The committee’s terms of reference require that notice of special meetings be posted on the committee’s website prior to the meeting. The Ombudsman found that the committee failed to provide notice on the website prior to the special meeting in accordance with the terms of reference. The Ombudsman recommended that the municipality update its procedure by-law to provide notice of committee meetings.

City of Niagara Falls

November 03, 201603 November 2016

The Ombudsman reviewed a meeting held by the council for the City of Niagara Falls. Council went into closed session before a regularly scheduled meeting. While notice of the regular meeting was provided to the public, there was no notice of the closed session that would be held before the regular meeting. The Ombudsman found that some media outlets had received information about the closed meeting, although the public had not. As a result, the public was denied notice of the closed meeting.

Regional Municipality of Niagara

November 28, 201528 November 2015

The Ombudsman reviewed a meeting held by the Long Term Case Task Force for the Regional Municipality of Niagara. Notice of the meeting was not provided to the public. The Ombudsman found that the Long Term Case Task Force had to comply with the open meeting requirements when meeting, including providing notice as required by the Municipal Act, 2001 and by the municipality’s procedure by-law.

City of Owen Sound

November 26, 201526 November 2015

The Ombudsman reviewed a closed meeting held by council for the City of Owen Sound that took place in a basement boardroom before an open session in council chambers. The municipality’s procedure by-law stipulates that matters on the closed meeting agenda will be discussed at a time and place set out in the public meeting agenda. For the meeting in question, notice of the open session was provided in accordance with the procedure by-law. However, the public agenda failed to include the location of the closed meeting that took place prior to the open session. The Ombudsman found that while the public were properly informed of the date and time of the closed meeting, the municipality failed to provide notice of the correct location for it.

Village of Burk's Falls and Armour Township

October 28, 201528 October 2015

The Ombudsman reviewed a joint meeting held by the councils for the Village of Burk’s Falls and Armour Township. The Ombudsman found that each municipality was responsible for providing its own notice of the meeting. The Ombudsman found that Armour Township provided notice of the meeting in accordance with its procedure by-law, which required notice be posted on the municipal website. The Ombudsman found that the Village of Burk’s Falls did not provide notice of the meeting. The procedure by-law for the Village of Burk’s Falls requires notice be posted at the municipal office, recorded on the municipal telephone answering machine, and posted on the municipal website. The Ombudsman found that the meeting was not an emergency meeting and therefore, the Village of Burk’s Falls was required to provided notice in accordance with its procedure by-law.

Armour Township and Village of Burk's Falls

October 28, 201528 October 2015

The Ombudsman reviewed a joint meeting held by the councils for the Village of Burk’s Falls and Armour Township. The Ombudsman found that each municipality was responsible for providing its own notice of the meeting. The Ombudsman found that Armour Township provided notice of the meeting in accordance with its procedure by-law, which required notice be posted on the municipal website. The Ombudsman found that the Village of Burk’s Falls did not provide notice of the meeting. The procedure by-law for the Village of Burk’s Falls requires notice be posted at the municipal office, recorded on the municipal telephone answering machine, and posted on the municipal website. The Ombudsman found that the meeting was not an emergency meeting and therefore, the Village of Burk’s Falls was required to provided notice in accordance with its procedure by-law.

Township of Woolwich

August 10, 201510 August 2015

The Ombudsman reviewed a number of closed meetings held by council for the Township of Woolwich. There was no notice about the location of these meetings provided to the public. The Ombudsman found that even when a meeting is closed, the public has the right to attend the open session when the resolution is passed to go in camera.

City of Niagara Falls

March 05, 201505 March 2015

The Ombudsman reviewed a closed meeting that was held before a regular open meeting by council for the City of Niagara Falls. Public notice was provided for the open meeting in accordance with the municipality’s procedure by-law, but there was no formal notice of the closed meeting because council relied on the media to publicize it. The Ombudsman found that the municipality did not meet the notice requirements of the Municipal Act, 2001 because it relied on the media to publicize the closed session and no direct notice was provided to the public.

Township of Black River-Matheson

January 09, 201509 January 2015

The Ombudsman reviewed a meeting held by the Committee of the Whole for the Township of Black River-Matheson. The meeting agenda did not include the fact that the meeting included a closed session or the location of the meeting. The meeting was not held in council chambers, but rather in an arena to accommodate a higher public turnout. The municipality’s general practice was to post notice on a bulletin board and on the municipal website. The Ombudsman found that the municipality failed to provide sufficient notice of the meeting because it failed to include the location of the meeting. The Ombudsman recommended that the municipality’s procedure by-law should explicitly provide for notice to the public of regular or special meetings.

Town of Moosonee

September 09, 201409 September 2014

The Ombudsman reviewed a special meeting held by council for the Town of Moosonee. Notice was provided on a bulletin board. The procedure by-law requires that notice of all meetings be provided on the bulletin board as well as a local community TV channel. The Ombudsman found that notice of the special meeting was not provided on the community TV channel because of a lack of time. The Ombudsman found that the municipality failed to provide notice in accordance with the procedure by-law. The Ombudsman recommended that the procedure by-law address notice requirements for special meetings specifically. The Ombudsman also recommended that short-notice meetings be called only in the case of a genuine emergency in order to maximize public knowledge of and attendance at the meeting.

Township of Adelaide Metcalfe

June 27, 201427 June 2014

The Ombudsman reviewed a closed meeting held by the council for the Township of Adelaide Metcalfe. Public notice of the meeting was not provided. The procedure by-law states that in the case of an emergency meeting, the clerk shall determine how notice is provided. The Ombudsman found that the subject matter of the meeting should not have constituted an emergency and that notice should have been provided.

Township of Leeds and the Thousand Islands

December 06, 201306 December 2013

The Ombudsman reviewed a meeting held by the Personnel Committee of Council for the Township of Leeds and the Thousand Islands. Public notice of the meeting was not provided. The municipality’s procedure by-law did not apply to committees, however the Ombudsman found that committees must also comply with the open meeting requirements of the Municipal Act, 2001.

Regional Municipality of Niagara

August 27, 201227 August 2012

The Ombudsman reviewed the practice of the Regional Municipality of Niagara, which did not post the agendas for the meetings of its committees on the municipal website. The Ombudsman found that although the municipal website provided an annual calendar of committee meetings, the procedure by-law requires public notice of all committee meetings by posting the agenda, time and date of each meeting as well. The Ombudsman found that the municipality did not provide notice of committee meetings as required and defined by its by-law, because it did not include meeting agendas alongside the meeting dates on the municipal website’s annual calendar of committee meetings.

Town of Larder Lake

November 29, 201129 November 2011

The Ombudsman reviewed an emergency meeting held by council for the Town of Larder Lake. Notice of the meeting was provided to council and to an individual involved in the emergency matter but it was not provided to the public. The Ombudsman found that the procedure by-law did not require notice of emergency meetings. The Ombudsman recommended that even for urgent matters, notice of the public should be provided as soon as possible.

Town of Mattawa

January 11, 201111 January 2011

The Ombudsman reviewed several meetings held by the Ad Hoc Heritage Committee for the Town of Mattawa. The Ombudsman found that the committee failed to provide notice of its meetings in violation of the Municipal Act, 2001. The Ombudsman recommended that the municipality’s procedure by-law provide for public notice of meetings. As a best practice, municipalities are encouraged to list all items on the agenda and a description of the items to be discussed in closed session.

Town of South Bruce Peninsula

July 07, 201007 July 2010

The Ombudsman reviewed closed meetings held by council for the Town of South Bruce Peninsula. The Ombudsman found that notice of the meetings was provided in accordance with the procedure by-law. However, in some cases, council discussed matters in closed session that were not included in the agenda that had been posted in advance. The Ombudsman recommended that in the interest of transparency and accountability, council should avoid discussing matters that were not the subject of prior notice, except in urgent situations. 

Township of Nipissing

February 06, 200906 February 2009

The Ombudsman reviewed a special meeting held by council for the Township of Nipissing. Notice of the meeting was not provided. The Ombudsman found that the municipality failed to provide notice in accordance with its procedure by-law, which requires notice of special meetings be posted on a bulletin board and on the municipal website at least 24 hours prior to the meeting.