police services

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Town of Amherstburg

June 29, 201829 June 2018

The Ombudsman reviewed a closed meeting held by council for the Town of Amherstburg relying on the security of the property exception to discuss policing levels in the municipality. The Ombudsman found that the discussion did not include potential threats, or loss or damage to municipal property. Accordingly, the Ombudsman found that the discussion did not fit within the security of the property exception.

Town of Amherstburg

June 29, 201829 June 2018

The Ombudsman reviewed closed meetings held by the Joint Police Advisory Committee for the Town of Amherstburg relying on the security of the property exception to discuss draft request for proposals for police services and the viability of a proposal. The Ombudsman found that the discussion did not include potential threats, or loss or damage to municipal property. Accordingly, the Ombudsman found that the discussion did not fit within the security of the property exception.

Town of Amherstburg

June 29, 201829 June 2018

The Ombudsman reviewed closed meetings held by the Joint Police Advisory Committee and council for the Town of Amherstburg to discuss draft request for proposals for police services. Although not cited at the time, the clerk told the Ombudsman that the “permissible under another act” exception would have applied because the meetings could have been closed under the Police Services Act.  The Police Services Act lists two exceptions allowing closed meetings of the police services board. The Ombudsman found that there was no evidence that the committee considered whether the Police Services Act would apply to its discussions, and no evidence provided that the local police services board discussed the request for proposals in closed session under the Police Services Act. Accordingly, the Ombudsman found that this exception did not apply to the committee and council meetings.

Town of Deep River

October 03, 201703 October 2017

The Ombudsman reviewed a closed meeting held by council for the Town of Deep River to discuss a police services consultation plan. The meeting was closed under the security of the property exception. The municipality believed that the discussion about police services implicated safety and security throughout the town. The Ombudsman found that the security of the property exception applies to protecting municipal property from physical loss or damage, and the protection of public safety in relation to that property. In this case, the in camera discussion did not deal with potential threats, loss or damage to municipal property. Accordingly, the Ombudsman found that the discussion did not fit within the security of the property exception.

Town of Deep River

October 03, 201703 October 2017

The Ombudsman reviewed a closed meeting held by council for the Town of Deep River to discuss a police services consultation plan. The meeting was closed under the personal matters exception. The municipality relied on this exception because a section of a former police chief’s employment contract was discussed and police service employees would be identifiable in the community even if they were not named. The Ombudsman found that the discussion did not involve any named individuals, and employees were not discussed in a personal capacity. Therefore, the Ombudsman found that the discussion did not fit within the personal matters exception.

Town of Deep River

October 03, 201703 October 2017

The Ombudsman reviewed a closed meeting held by council for the Town of Deep River to discuss a police services consultation plan. During the meeting, council formed a police services consultation working group composed of three members of council. The Ombudsman found that the working group was not a committee under the municipality’s procedure by-law. In determining whether the working group was a committee under the Municipal Act, 2001, the Ombudsman considered the role and function of the group. When groups primarily exchange information or advance positions that a municipality has already decided upon without laying the groundwork for decision-making by council, the body will not constitute a committee. In this case, the Ombudsman found that the working group exercised an administrative function. Therefore, the working group was not a committee under the Municipal Act.

Town of Deep River

October 03, 201703 October 2017

The Ombudsman reviewed a closed meeting held by council for the Town of Deep River to discuss a police services consultation plan. The Ombudsman found that the majority of the discussion focused on service levels and other administrative issues, as well as strategies for sharing information with local residents. Council did not discuss individual employees, their compensation, or their roles. Although it was not relied upon by the municipality, the Ombudsman found that the discussion did not fit within the labour relations exception.

Town of Deep River

October 03, 201703 October 2017

The Ombudsman reviewed a closed meeting held by council for the Town of Deep River to discuss a police service consultation plan. During the closed session, council voted to pass five resolutions. The Ombudsman found that three resolutions involved substantive decisions being taken by council. While some of the resolutions could perhaps have been worded as a direction to the staff, they were not phrased as such. Therefore, the Ombudsman found that the votes were impermissible.

Town of Deep River

October 03, 201703 October 2017

The Ombudsman reviewed a closed meeting held by council for the Town of Deep River that relied on the exception for solicitor-client privilege to discuss a police services consultation plan. Council had previously received written advice from its solicitors related to a former police chief’s contract, however that advice was not discussed during the in camera meeting. The Ombudsman found that the discussion was limited to whether and how information about the contract should be disclosed to the public. There was no solicitor or related communication. Accordingly, the Ombudsman found that the discussion did not fit within the solicitor-client privilege exception.