2014

December 15, 2014

15 December, 2014

Town of Amherstburg

The Ombudsman found that discussions held by council for the Town of Amherstburg at its July 7 and September 8, 2014 meetings fit within the cited exceptions to the open meeting requirements.

December 12, 2014

12 December, 2014

City of Hamilton

The Ombudsman found that a July 25, 2014 closed-door meeting between members of Hamilton's Government Relations Contact Team and two Members of Provincial Parliament did not constitute a meeting of council or a committee of council for the purpose of the open meeting requirements. The Ombudsman recommended that the city clarify the membership, role and authority of the Government Relations Contact Team.

December 9, 2014

9 December, 2014

Township of Baldwin

The Ombudsman found that closed session discussions held by council for the Township of Baldwin on September 8, 2014 were permissible under the exceptions to the open meeting requirements. However, council took an illegal vote during the closed session in violation of the Municipal Act.

November 19, 2014

19 November, 2014

City of Owen Sound

An email of August 9, 2014, and a gathering of August 13, 2014, did not constitute meetings for the purposes of the open meeting provisions of the Municipal Act, 2001. In neither case was there an exercise of the authority of council or laying of the groundwork to exercise such authority.

November 18, 2014

18 November, 2014

Municipality of Whitestone

The Ombudsman found that in camera discussion held by council for the Municipality of Whitestone on February 4, 2014 fit within the personal matters and labour relations exceptions to the open meeting requirements.

November 18, 2014

18 November, 2014

City of Welland

The Ombudsman found that council for the City of Welland held illegal closed sessions on March 18, April 15, and May 6. At these meetings, council discussed matters in closed session that were not permissible under the exceptions to the open meeting requirements.

November 10, 2014

10 November, 2014

City of Elliot Lake - Around the Table

The Ombudsman found that a July 2, 2014 gathering of three members of council for the City of Elliot Lake at a Sustainable Development Roundtable did not constitute a meeting for the purpose of the open meeting requirements.

October 27, 2014

27 October, 2014

City of Elliot Lake - Finance and Administration Committee

The Ombudsman found that discussions held by the Finance and Administration Committee for the City of Elliot Lake on July 7, 2014 fit within the acquisition or disposition of land exception to the open meeting requirements.

October 15, 2014

15 October, 2014

Town of Hawkesbury

The Ombudsman found that Council's consideration in closed session of a letter of interest for a vacant lot fell within the "acquisition and disposition of land" exception to the open meeting requirements. As such, the closed meeting held by the Council for the Town of Hawkesbury on August 18, 2014, was not in violation of the Municipal Act.

October 8, 2014

8 October, 2014

Municipality of Killarney

The Ombudsman found that a gathering of councillors at a local wharf on April 25, 2014, was a meeting of council for the purpose of the open meeting requirements, and that this meeting was not closed to the public in violation of the open meeting requirements.

October 8, 2014

8 October, 2014

Township of Billings - On the Waterfront

The Ombudsman found that the Waterfront Improvement Committee for the Township of Billings was a committee of council, as described by the Township's procedure by-law. Although the Committee was already holding open meetings, the Ombudsman encouraged the Township to formalize the Committee's terms of reference, as well as the notice procedures for the Committee's meetings.

October 8, 2014

8 October, 2014

Township of Billings - Let's Flip For It

In his report "Let's Flip For It," the Ombudsman found that a closed session in the Township of Billings - in which council tossed a coin to choose a new councillor - was an illegal closed meeting under the Municipal Act.

September 23, 2014

23 September, 2014

Town of Moosonee

In reviewing a complaint about four closed meetings held by council for the Town of Moosonee, the Ombudsman found that the subject matter of the August 26, 2013 closed session did not fit within the "education or training" exception, or any exception to the open meeting requirements.

September 19, 2014

19 September, 2014

City of London

"Turning Tables" - Investigation into whether members of Council for the City of London held an improper closed meeting on June 24, 2014.

The Ombudsman concluded that a gathering of 12 council members in the City Hall cafeteria between meetings on June 24, 2014 - prior to a vote to fill a vacant council seat the next day - did not violate the open meeting requirements of the Municipal Act, 2001.

September 19, 2014

19 September, 2014

City of Elliot Lake

The Ombudsman found that some discussions held by council for the City of Elliot Lake during an October 25, 2013 closed session fell within the "personal matters" exception to the open meeting requirements, as they related to unproven allegations against an identified member of council.

September 11, 2014

11 September, 2014

Township of Joly

In reviewing a complaint about closed meetings of Council held in December 2013, March and April 2014, the Ombudsman determined that the December gathering complained of did not constitute a "meeting" under the Municipal Act, 2001.  However, an illegal meeting was held on March 26, 2014, when Council exercised its authority through the serial attendance of councillors at the Township office to approve a resolution.  In addition, the April closed meetings were permissible under the "personal matters" and "solicitor-client" privilege exceptions.  A number of procedural recommendations were also made. 

September 5, 2014

5 September, 2014

City of Elliot Lake - Parks and Recreation Committee

The Ombudsman found that the Committee's March 25, 2014 in camera discussion regarding the possibility of having a junior hockey team in the City did involve some personal information, however most of the discussion did not fit within the "personal matters" exception or any exception to the open meeting requirements, and should have taken place in open session.

September 5, 2014

5 September, 2014

Township of Brudenell, Lyndoch and Raglan

The Ombudsman found that discussions held by council for the Township of Brudenell, Lyndoch and Raglan during two closed sessions on March 19, 2014 fit within the "education and training" and "personal matters" exceptions to the open meeting requirements.

September 3, 2014

3 September, 2014

Municipality of West Nipissing

The Ombudsman found no evidence that Council members for the Municipality of West Nipissing met behind closed doors with the engineers working on a drainage project in violation of the open meeting requirements in December 2011.

August 25, 2014

25 August, 2014

Township of Russell

The Ombudsman found that council for the Township of Russell discussed three items in closed session on May 5, 2014 under the "security of the property" exception that did not fit within that exception, or any exception to the open meeting requirements. The Ombudsman also cautioned that council should ensure that all matters discussed in closed session fit within the exceptions cited in the resolution to proceed in camera.

August 18, 2014

18 August, 2014

Town of Fort Erie

The Ombudsman found that council's March 31, 2014 discussion regarding a grant to the Fort Erie Racetrack did fit within the "acquisition or disposition of land" exception, because the grant was directly related to a potential land acquisition, such that both matters could not be discussed separately.

July 29, 2014

29 July, 2014

City of Oshawa

The Ombudsman did not uncover any evidence that a quorum of council met secretly prior to the May 21 or September 3, 2013 public council meetings to discuss  the appointment of a third party investigator or the elimination of the Auditor General's office. 

July 21, 2014

21 July, 2014

Township of Adelaide Metcalfe

The Ombudsman found that council's April 16 closed meeting discussion regarding comments made by a councillor about staff performance did fit within the "personal matters" exception.

June 24, 2014

24 June, 2014

Town of Midland

The Ombudsman determined that Midland Council's March 17, 2014 closed meeting discussion about the Chief Administrative Officer's absence and workload coverage during the absence fell within the "personal matters" exception to the open meeting requirements.

June 24, 2014

24 June, 2014

City of Elliot Lake

The Ombudsman reviewed a complaint that meetings of the Board of the Northern Institute of the Arts (known locally as the White Mountain Academy) was a "local board" of the City of Elliot Lake, subject to the open meeting requirements of the Municipal Act, 2001 (the "Act").

June 24, 2014

24 June, 2014

City of Owen Sound

The ombudsman found that council for the City of Owen Sound violated the Municipal Act, 2001 when it went in camera to discuss and vote on funding for an MRI campaign on March 23, 2011. The Ombudsman also recommended that the City's procedure by-law be updated.

April 25, 2014

25 April, 2014

City of London

The Ombudsman found that two separate in camera meetings involving City of London council were closed appropriately.

April 25, 2014

25 April, 2014

Town of Ajax

The Ombudsman found that the Ajax General Government Committee's May 23, 2013 closed door discussion about the disposition of municipal lands (potential lease or sale of lands) fell within the "acquisition or disposition of land" exception to the open meeting requirements. 

April 17, 2014

17 April, 2014

City of Timmins

The Ombudsman found that council for the City of Timmins did not violate the Municipal Act when it went in camera on September 25, 2013, to discuss "potential litigation" with respect to the wastewater treatment plant upgrade.

April 14, 2014

14 April, 2014

Township of Ashfield-Colborne-Wawanosh

The Ombudsman found that Council for the Township of Ashfield-Colborne-Wawanosh did not violate the Municipal Act, 2001 when it went in camera on February 18, 2014 to discuss potential litigation with respect to a wind energy company's discharge of water onto a municipal road allowance.

March 24, 2014

24 March, 2014

Niagara District Airport Commission

The Ombudsman found that the Niagara District Airport Commission did not hold a "secret" meeting to discuss and decide handling of Freedom of Information requests that were before the Commission.  The matter was discussed at a special meeting that was open to the public on December 19, 2013 and public notice was provided on the Commission's website.

March 20, 2014

20 March, 2014

Township of Nairn and Hyman

The Ombudsman did not uncover any evidence to support the complaint that council members for the Township of Nairn and Hyman discussed a community investment proposal from a mining/explosives company behind closed doors.

March 14, 2014

14 March, 2014

Municipality of Killarney

The Ombudsman found that closed meetings held by the Municipality of Killarney's Ad-Hoc Committee between June and August 2013 contravened the municipality's procedure by-law because, under the by-baw, all committee meetings must be open to the public unless the subject matter falls within one of the open meeting exceptions of the Municipal Act, 2001

March 10, 2014

10 March, 2014

City of Elliot Lake

The Ombudsman determined that a quorum of Council's November 1, 2013 meeting with Chief Day of the Serpent River First Nation violated the open meeting requirements of the Municipal Act.

February 24, 2014

24 February, 2014

Town of Orangeville

The Ombudsman determined that Council's September 9, 2013 closed meeting discussion with the owner of a local sports bar about the terms of a lease agreement violated the Municipal Act.

February 19, 2014

19 February, 2014

Town of Midland

The Ombudsman found that council's July 22, 2013 discussion of a Council member's request for indemnification for legal fees incurred as a Police Services Board member did not qualify for closed meeting consideration under the open meeting exceptions as the subject matter pertained to the Council member's activities in his professional role and the invoice considered did not reveal any privileged communications between solicitor and client. 

February 7, 2014

7 February, 2014

Town of Carleton Place

The Ombudsman found that Council's July 23, 2013 closed meeting with its Solicitor to receive advice about litigation filed against the Town in relation to a building permit/development dispute, was permitted under both the "solicitor client privilege" and "litigation or potential litigation" exceptions to the open meeting requirements.

January 27, 2014

27 January, 2014

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.

January 24, 2014

24 January, 2014

Town of Fort Erie

The Ombudsman found that Council's closed meeting discussion with its Solicitor on November 19, 2013 to seek advice on the terms of an outstanding Agreement of Purchase and Sale, which was also subject to an appeal before the Land Registry Tribunal, was permitted under the "solicitor-client privilege" exception to the open meeting requirements.

January 3, 2014

3 January, 2014

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.