resolution (specify exception)

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City of St. Catharines

February 14, 201914 February 2019

The Ombudsman reviewed a closed meeting held by council for the City of St. Catharines. The Ombudsman found that while council made an oral resolution to move into closed session, the open session minutes failed to record the resolution and the oral resolution did not include a general description of the matters to be discussed in camera or the exceptions that applied to the in camera discussions.

Town of Deep River

May 09, 201809 May 2018

The Ombudsman reviewed a closed meeting held by council for the Town of Deep River to discuss a development proposal and various fire service issues. The Ombudsman found that the resolution to proceed in camera failed to specify which closed meeting exception was intended to apply to each item. Instead, this information was provided in the agenda. The Ombudsman suggested that the municipality adopt the best practice of having its resolution specify which closed meeting exception is being relied on for each closed session discussion topic.

City of Timmins

January 23, 201723 January 2017

The Ombudsman reviewed two closed meetings held by council for the City of Timmins. The Ombudsman found that the resolutions to proceed in camera for both meetings failed to provide meaningful information to the public about the issues that were to be discussed in camera, and also that the resolutions failed to specify which closed meeting exception was intended to apply to each item on the closed meeting agenda. The Ombudsman recommended that council ensure that its resolutions to proceed in camera provide a general description of the issue to be discussed in a way that maximizes the information available to the public while not undermining the reason for excluding the public.

City of Timmins

January 23, 201723 January 2017

The Ombudsman reviewed a closed meeting held by council for the City of Timmins to discuss the recruitment process to replace the retiring Chief Administrative Officer (CAO). The Ombudsman found that council’s resolution to proceed in camera did not provide meaningful information to the public about the issue that was to be discussed. The Ombudsman also found that the resolution failed to specify which closed meeting exception was intended to apply to each item on the closed meeting agenda.

Norfolk County

May 10, 201610 May 2016

The Ombudsman reviewed a closed meeting held by the council-in-committee for Norfolk County to discuss the extension of a legal services contract. The resolution to proceed in camera referred to a  “contractual matter” along with a list of other items to be discussed and the exceptions relied upon. The Ombudsman found that while the description of the discussion did provide the public with some idea about the committee’s intended discussion, the resolution could have included additional information without undermining the confidentiality of the matter. The Ombudsman recommended that the municipality ensure that resolutions to proceed in camera clearly specify which exception is being relied upon to discuss each matter.

Township of Woolwich

August 10, 201510 August 2015

The Ombudsman reviewed a closed meeting held by council for the Township of Woolwich. The Ombudsman found that the municipality failed to cite in its resolution the closed meeting exception relied upon to proceed in camera. The Ombudsman recommended that council ensure that the resolution discloses all exceptions authorizing the closed meeting discussion, and that the resolution includes both the fact of holding the closed meeting and the general nature of the subject matter to be discussed.

Township of Chamberlain

July 08, 201508 July 2015

The Ombudsman reviewed several closed meetings held by council for the Township of Chamberlain. The Ombudsman found a number of procedural issues with the meeting, including that the resolutions to move in camera did not comply with the Municipal Act’s requirements or the municipality’s procedure by-law. One resolution did not cite an exception authorizing the discussion, or provide any other information. Other resolutions did not provide a general description of the subject matter to be considered. The Ombudsman recommended that the municipality ensure its resolutions to proceed in camera provide a description of the issue to be discussed, as well as the exception authorizing the discussion.

Township of McMurrich/Monteith

July 06, 201506 July 2015

The Ombudsman reviewed three closed meetings held by council for the Township of McMurrich-Monteith. The Ombudsman found that during one meeting, the resolution to proceed in camera did not indicate that the exception applied to the subject matters to be discussed in camera. The Ombudsman found that at another meeting, the resolution to move into closed session failed to provide information about the general nature of the subject matter to be discussed.

Municipality of Magnetawan

June 24, 201524 June 2015

The Ombudsman reviewed a closed meeting held by council for the Municipality of Magnetawan. After conducting an investigation, the Ombudsman found that the resolution to proceed in camera did not state the exception that was relied upon. The Ombudsman noted that it was not required to cite the specific exception authorizing the closed session, but that it was recommended as a best practice fostering transparency.

Municipality of South Huron

March 02, 201502 March 2015

The Ombudsman reviewed several closed meetings held by council for the Municipality of South Huron held between 2008 and 2013. The Ombudsman found that the resolutions to proceed in camera at most of the meetings only stated that council would meet in closed session at a given time. The resolutions failed to include the subject matter to be considered in closed session or the specific exception(s) relied upon to go into closed session.