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.