February 10, 202110 February 2021
The Ombudsman investigated a closed session held by council for the Town of Plympton-Wyoming. The meeting was closed under the personal matters exception. The Ombudsman found that council’s discussion about the employment history and qualifications of two individuals interested in filling a council vacancy fit within the “personal matters” exception to the open meeting rules. However, council’s discussions about whether to fill the vacancy by holding a by-election or by appointment did not fit within the “personal matters” exception. The Ombudsman found that it would have been possible for council to parse the two discussions. Council could have discussed the method to fill the council vacancy in open session then proceed to closed session to discuss personal matters relating to the individuals interested in filling the council vacancy.
February 03, 202103 February 2021
The Ombudsman reviewed a closed meeting held by council for the Municipality of Temagami to discuss the findings of an integrity commissioner investigation and harassment investigations. The meeting was closed under the solicitor-client advice exception. During the meeting the integrity commissioner and an investigator presented their findings to council. The Ombudsman found that this information was not provided by a lawyer and does not qualify as legal advice. However, the information supplied by the investigator and integrity commissioner was received in relation to council seeking legal guidance on how to respond to the investigations’ findings and was necessary to discuss the issues meaningfully. It would not be reasonable for council to parse its discussion. Therefore, the discussion fit within the solicitor-client advice exception.