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The Ombudsman found that council for the Township of Adjala-Tosorontio did not contravene the open meeting rules in the Municipal Act, 2001 when members of the newly elected council attended educational workshops on November 15, 24, and 29, 2022. At the time of these gatherings, four of the seven council members had not yet taken office. As such, a quorum of council was not present, and the gatherings therefore did not meet the definition of a meeting in the Act. As the gatherings were not meetings as defined in the Act, the Act’s open meeting rules did not apply.
The Ombudsman reviewed a closed meeting held by council for the Township of Russell to receive training on strategic planning. The meeting was closed under the education or training exception. During the session, councillors were taught the basic principles and vocabulary related to the strategic planning process. The presentation used the current strategic plan for the municipality as a reference point for abstract principles and vocabulary that was being taught. The discussion was not a workshop or free flow of ideas but rather a specific training course. There was no decision-making or discussion of specific municipal priorities or planning. The Ombudsman found that the discussion fit within the education or training exception.