2013

December 19, 2013

19 December, 2013

Municipality of Bluewater

The Ombudsman found that Council's August 27, 2013 closed meeting discussion with the Municipality's Solicitor about a proposed building by-law, being considered in response to litigation filed against the Municipality, was permitted under the "solicitor-client privilege" and "litigation or potential litigation" exceptions. 

December 19, 2013

19 December, 2013

Municipality of Markstay-Warren

The Ombudsman found that Markstay-Warren council's closed meeting discussions in July and August 2013 about a proposed land acquisition were permitted in closed session.  However, the Ombudsman recommended that council provide more detail in its closed meeting records or consider audio or video recording meetings to ensure a complete and accurate record.

December 9, 2013

9 December, 2013

Town of Amherstburg

The Ombudsman found that Council for the Town of Amherstburg did not violate the Municipal Act, 2001 when it held an emergency closed meeting on October 21, 2013.

December 6, 2013

6 December, 2013

Township of Leeds and the Thousand Islands

The Ombudsman found that a majority of council met illegally in November 2012 before decorating a float for local Christmas parades. He also found that a February 2013 committee meeting was appropriately closed to discuss “employee negotiations” – however, it violated the Act because no public notice was given. 

November 20, 2013

20 November, 2013

Town of Fort Erie

The Ombudsman found that an October 31, 2010 gathering including one incumbent Council member and four Councillors-elect with the lawyer for the Fort Erie Waterfront Association was not subject to the open meeting requirements.

November 14, 2013

14 November, 2013

City of Timmins

The Ombudsman found that council for the City of Timmins did not violate the Municipal Act when it held a closed meeting on June 17, 2013 to consider a complaint  against a resident with respect to allegations of a zoning by-law infraction.

November 8, 2013

8 November, 2013

Township of Ryerson

The Ombudsman found that Council for the Township of Ryerson improperly discussed the Thompson quarry/pit zoning application in closed meetings held on September 24, 2012 and July 9, 2013 and, during the September 24, 2012 closed meeting Council improperly introduced a topic without referencing the matter in the resolution to proceed in camera. 

October 30, 2013

30 October, 2013

Township of Bonfield

The Ombudsman found that members of the Personnel Committee for the Township of Bonfield did not violate the open meeting requirements with respect to an October 8, 2013 closed session at which the Committee received an update on an on-going municipal labour dispute, a pending Labour Relations Board hearing, and employment matters pertaining to specific municipal employees were discussed.  

October 29, 2013

29 October, 2013

Town of Mattawa

The Ombudsman did not uncover evidence that the Council for the Town of Mattawa held a secret meeting to discuss extending the Mayor's duties and increasing his pay for a limited period, a decision that was unanimously passed by Council at a June 24, 2013 public Council meeting.

October 23, 2013

23 October, 2013

Township of North Dumfries

The Ombudsman found that Council for the Township of North Dumfries did not violate the open meeting requirements with respect to an August 19, 2013 closed session at which Council received an update from the Township Solicitor on matters before the Ontario Municipal Board.  The discussion qualified for closed meeting consideration under the "litigation or potential litigation" exception to the open meeting requirements. 

October 22, 2013

22 October, 2013

City of London - “In the Back Room”

Investigation into whether members of Council for the City of London held an improper closed meeting on February 23, 2013. The Ombudsman concluded that an illegal closed meeting occurred on February 23, 2013, in violation of the Municipal Act, 2001.

October 11, 2013

11 October, 2013

City of Sault Ste. Marie

Ontario Ombudsman does not find that the Procedure By-Law Review Committee held an illegal closed meeting between May 14 and June 24, 2013.

September 20, 2013

20 September, 2013

Niagara Central Airport Commission

Based on the Ombudsman's review, it appears the Commission is a local board subject to the open meeting requirements.  Under the circumstances, the Commission should enact a procedure by-law governing meetings in accordance with the Municipal Act and comply with the open meeting requirements.

September 17, 2013

17 September, 2013

Acton Business Improvement Area Board

The Ombudsman found that the Acton Business Improvement Area Board's June 18, 2013 consideration of a lease agreement qualified for closed meeting consideration. However, we identified a number of procedural violations with respect to the resolution to proceed in camera, the meeting record, and the Board's Procedure By-Law. 

September 12, 2013

12 September, 2013

Town of Amherstburg

In a reviewing a complaint about five closed meetings between October 2012 and March 2013, the Ombudsman found that the subject matter discussed during each of the in camera sessions was permitted under the Municipal Act. However, Council did improperly vote during the in camera session of the November 26, 2012 Council meeting.

September 10, 2013

10 September, 2013

Township of Bonfield

The Ombudsman found that there had been no secret meetings of council at the township landfill site on August 3 and August 7, 2013, preceding the cancellation of a number of council and committee meetings.

August 28, 2013

28 August, 2013

Township of McMurrich-Monteith

The Ombudsman found that Council improperly introduced and discussed a Councillor cost reimbursement policy in a May 7, 2013 closed meeting.

August 16, 2013

16 August, 2013

Township of Tiny

The Ombudsman did not find that there had been secret meetings involving members of Council prior to the passage of a by-law regarding wind turbines at the January 14, 2013 Council meeting. 

August 1, 2013

1 August, 2013

City of Niagara Falls

The Ombudsman found that the CAO's February 19, 2013 announcement to a quorum of Council about the resignation of a senior staff's resignation did not constitute a "meeting" for the purposes of the open meeting requirements, as no substantive discussion of Council business took place.

August 1, 2013

1 August, 2013

City of Elliot Lake

The Ombudsman found that Elliot Lake Council's June 4, 2013 in camera discussion on the status of negotiations between a Joint Relations Committee and the Serpent River First Nation, which was attended by non-Council members of the Committee, was permitted under the Act.

June 28, 2013

28 June, 2013

City of Oshawa

The Ombudsman found that Council's consideration of a matter involving disposition of city-owned lands in a May 21, 2013 closed session was permitted under the Act, and that the city did not violate the open meeting requirements during a meeting on March 20.

June 17, 2013

17 June, 2013

City of Hamilton

The Ombudsman found that Council did not violate the open meeting requirements of the Municipal Act, 2001 when it met behind closed doors on January 23, 2013 to seek legal advice about a contract with a consultant.

June 12, 2013

12 June, 2013

Village of Casselman

The Ombudsman determined that Council did not violate the open meeting requirements in relation to pre-meeting gatherings held on July 10, 2012 and March 12, 2013.

June 10, 2013

10 June, 2013

Town of South Bruce Peninsula

The Ombudsman determined that the Town of South Bruce Peninsula did not violate the open meeting requirements when it went in camera on seven occasions between September 4, 2012 and January 15, 2013.

May 13, 2013

13 May, 2013

City of Sault Ste. Marie

The Ombudsman found that the City of Sault Ste. Marie's Procedure By-Law Review Committee violated the open meeting requirements and its procedure by-law when it held closed meetings on November 1, 2012 and January 28, 2013.  

May 9, 2013

9 May, 2013

Town of Fort Erie

The Ombudsman found that Fort Erie Council's February 4, 2013 closed meeting discussion of the mayor's alleged breach of the Town's Code of Conduct was not authorized under the "personal matters" exception of the Municipal Act, as the subject matter discussed was about the mayor in a professional context, and did not involve consideration of 'personal' information. 

May 2, 2013

2 May, 2013

City of Elliot Lake

The Ombudsman found that Council for the City of Elliot Lake did not violate the Municipal Act or its Procedure By-Law when it held a special closed meeting without advance public notice in order to discuss an urgent matter with its solicitor. 

April 17, 2013

17 April, 2013

City of Elliot Lake

The Ombudsman found that the Elliot Lake Economic Development Committee's January 29, 2013 closed meeting discussion included the evaluation and assessment of individual qualifications, experience, and character traits, and, therefore, qualified for closed meeting consideration under the "personal matters" exception to the open meeting requirements.

April 16, 2013

16 April, 2013

Town of Larder Lake

The Ombudsman found that the September 10, 2012 meeting of the Planning Committee for the Town of Larder Lake was open to the public.

April 16, 2013

16 April, 2013

Town of Larder Lake

The Ombudsman found that the September 10 meeting of the Planning Committee for the Town of Larder Lake was open to the public, however he noted that the town's procedure by-law should be amended to state that the Committee must follow the open meeting requirements at its meetings, given that four of the five members of council sit on the Committee.

April 16, 2013

16 April, 2013

Town of Pelham

The Ombudsman found that the Town of Pelham did not improperly vote on an Environmental Protection by-law in closed session, and that Council's March 4 closed session to discuss the by-law fell within the "advice that is subject to solicitor-client privilege" exception to the open meeting requirements.

April 5, 2013

5 April, 2013

City of St. Catharines

The Ombudsman found that St. Catharines Council's December 17, 2012 closed meeting discussion about potential cuts to identifiable employees in the City of Thorold's Fire Service qualified for closed meeting consideration under the "personal matters" exception.

March 21, 2013

21 March, 2013

Niagara District Airport Liaison Committee

The Ombudsman found that the September 12, 2012 meeting among six of the seven members of the Niagara District Airport Liaison Committee did not violate the Municipal Act

March 13, 2013

13 March, 2013

Municipality of Central Huron

The Ombudsman found that Council for the Municipality of Central Huron contravened the open meeting requirements of the Municipal Act during meetings held in May and July, 2012, but that a closed meeting on June 11 was justified based on the exceptions contained in the Act.

March 10, 2013

10 March, 2013

Township of Adelaide Metcalfe

The Ombudsman found that the Township of Adelaide Metcalfe did not contravene the Municipal Act during two closed meetings in March 2012.

February 22, 2013

22 February, 2013

Niagara District Airport Commission

The Ombudsman found that the Niagara District Airport Commission held improper in camera discussions on May 3 and May 17, 2012, in violation of the Municipal Act. The Commission also conducted improper votes while in closed session at these meetings.

February 14, 2013

14 February, 2013

City of Greater Sudbury

The Ombudsman determined that Council's review of information related to an ongoing Ontario Municipal Board appeal during a closed meeting on November 10, 2010 was permitted in a closed meeting under the "litigation or potential litigation" exception to the open meeting requirements.

February 14, 2013

14 February, 2013

City of Greater Sudbury

The Ombudsman did not find that council for the City of Greater Sudbury violated the open meeting requirements when it closed two meetings in June 2012 to the public in order to discuss the contract of an identified member of staff. However, council did improperly vote during the in camera session on June 12, 2012.

February 14, 2013

14 February, 2013

Niagara District Airport Commission

The Ombudsman found that a gathering of four of the nine Niagara District Airport Commission members and four of thirteen St. Catharines Council members on December 9, 2012, was not a "meeting" for the purposes of the open meeting requirements.

February 11, 2013

11 February, 2013

Town of Midland

The Ombudsman found that the Planning and Development Committee's consideration of a zoning dispute in its November 7, 2012 closed meeting was permitted under the "potential litigation" exception to the open meeting requirements, as there was a very real potential that litigation would occur if the particular zoning matter was not resolved.

February 6, 2013

6 February, 2013

Municipality of Powassan

In reviewing a number of closed meetings held between November 2011 and September 2012, the Ombudsman found that council contravened the open meeting requirements at the November 1, 2011 meeting. The Ombudsman also provided some recommendations to help improve the transparency of closed meetings.

February 1, 2013

1 February, 2013

Township of Tiny

The Ombudsman found that Council for the Township of Tiny improperly discussed one item in closed session at its October 29 meeting, in violation of the Municipal Act.

January 31, 2013

31 January, 2013

Township of Woolwich

The Ombudsman found that Council's closed meeting with the Township Solicitor on November 12, 2012 to discuss the status of an Ontario Municipal Board appeal fell within the "litigation or potential litigation" exception to the open meeting requirements.

January 28, 2013

28 January, 2013

Municipality of Lambton Shores

The Ombudsman did not find that council for the Municipality of Lambton Shores violated the open meeting requirements when it closed a November 13, 2012 meeting to the public in order to discuss an identified member of staff. However, council did improperly vote during the in camera session.

January 16, 2013

16 January, 2013

Municipality of Leamington

The Ombudsman found that a series of e-mails sent by Municipality of Leamington council members in response to a resident's inquiry and copied to all Council members did not constitute an (electronic) meeting that was subject to the open meeting requirements. 

January 4, 2013

4 January, 2013

Township of Ryerson

The Ombudsman found that Council in the Township of Ryerson's discussion of matters pertaining to a quarry zoning application was not permitted within a closed meeting, with one exception - Council's review of written legal advice at the end of hour and forty-five minute meeting did qualify for closed meeting consideration under the "solicitor-client privilege" exception of the Act.