Reports and Case Summaries

The Ombudsman investigates individual complaints and major systemic issues under the Ombudsman Act. He also investigates complaints about closed municipal meetings under the Municipal Act. Use the filters to find the reports and case studies you are looking for.

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December 5, 2017

5 December, 2017

City of Cornwall

The Ombudsman received a complaint that the City of Cornwall inappropriately met with council for the Township of South Glengarry in closed session on September 19, 2017, to discuss the Cornwall Regional Airport. The complainant alleged that council for the City of Cornwall discussed matters and provided directions to staff that did not fit within the cited “personal matters” closed meeting exception in the Municipal Act, 2001. The Ombudsman found that council’s discussion fit within the cited exception to the Municipal Act’s open meeting requirements, although the resolution to proceed in camera did not state the general nature of the matter to be considered.

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December 1, 2017

1 December, 2017

Town of Georgina

The Ombudsman received a complaint that council for the Town of Georgina inappropriately met in camera to discuss an organizational review of certain departments within the town administration as part of a larger service delivery review. The Ombudsman determined that council’s discussion fit within the personal matters and labour relations exceptions to the open meeting rules.

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November 30, 2017

30 November, 2017

Township of Russell

We received a complaint that council for the Township of Russell held a meeting that did not comply with the open meeting rules when the public entrance to Town Hall was locked during a portion of a council meeting on July 31, 2017. Although the meeting was intended to be open to the public, a locked exterior public door prevented members of the public from accessing council chambers for the first half of the meeting. As a result, the meeting was closed to the public and the public’s right to observe municipal government in process was frustrated, contrary to the open meeting rules.

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November 24, 2017

24 November, 2017

City of Welland

We received a complaint that the City of Welland held an improper vote during a closed session on September 19, 2017, to appoint a new member of council. The Ombudsman found that council for the City of Welland had contravened the Municipal Act, 2001, and the city’s procedure by-law when it discussed voting procedure in closed session under the “personal matters exception”. In addition, the Ombudsman found that council for the City of Welland contravened the Municipal Act and the City’s procedure by-law when it voted in closed session by secret ballot to select a candidate to appoint to the vacant council seat.

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November 21, 2017

21 November, 2017

Town of Kirkland Lake

The Ombudsman received a complaint regarding the general meeting practices of the Town of Kirkland Lake’s Recreation Committee. The complaint alleged that the Recreation Committee held closed meetings by not providing proper notice to the public in contravention of the Municipal Act. The Ombudsman determined that the Recreation Committee was a committee of council, and therefore subject to the Act’s open meeting requirements.  The Ombudsman found that the Recreation Committee’s meeting practices contravened these requirements.

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October 23, 2017

23 October, 2017

Town of Carleton Place

On March 14, 2017 the Policy Review Committee for the Town of Carleton place met in closed session to discuss a public statement made by the Mayor, citing the “litigation or potential litigation” exception. The Ombudsman received a complaint that this discussion did not fit within the cited exception. The Ombudsman found that there was not a reasonable prospect of litigation at the time of the closed meeting and the discussion did not fit within the “litigation or potential litigation” exception.

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October 3, 2017

3 October, 2017

Town of Deep River

The Ombudsman received a complaint alleging that council for the Town of Deep River inappropriately met in camera on May 17 and 18, 2017 to discuss a police service consultation plan. The complainant also alleged that a police service consultation “working group” formed during the May 18 closed meeting should have been classified as a committee of council subject to the Municipal Act’s open meeting requirements. The Ombudsman found that council for the Town of Deep River contravened the Municipal Act when it went in camera to discuss and vote on matters related to the police service consultation plan. The Ombudsman also found that the police service consultation “working group” was not a committee of council and therefore not subject to the open meeting requirements of the Municipal Act.

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September 22, 2017

22 September, 2017

City of Hamilton

We received a complaint that the City of Hamilton’s General Issues Committee discussed funding for certain transit routes known as “school bus extras” during a closed session on either March 23 or 24, 2017, contrary to the open meeting rules. The Ombudsman found that the committee technically contravened the open meeting rules when the bus routes issue was raised briefly during a closed meeting on March 24, 2017. Once the committee determined that the issue did not fit within any of the exceptions to the open meeting rules, it ended the discussion. The Ombudsman commended city staff and council members for being mindful of the open meeting rules during the meeting, but recommend the city exercise greater caution when adding items to a closed session agenda in the future, and that the city begin audio or video recording all closed meetings.

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August 14, 2017

14 August, 2017

Municipality of Brighton

The Ombudsman received a complaint that members of council for the Municipality of Brighton discussed council business by phone in advance of a special meeting of council on March 15, 2017. The Ombudsman determined that the Mayor called four councillors in a series of phone calls to discuss an opportunity to sell land in the municipality’s industrial park. During the phone calls, members of council discussed specific terms of a proposal that was ultimately sent to a party interested in purchasing the property. The Ombudsman found that the phone calls contravened the Municipal Act.

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August 9, 2017

9 August, 2017

City of Elliot Lake

The Ombudsman received two complaints that council for the City of Elliot Lake inappropriately met in camera to discuss a motion to rescind a previous resolution regarding the recruitment of a CAO. The Ombudsman determined that the city did not contravene the Municipal Act, 2001. The discussion fit within the “personal matters about an identifiable individual” closed meeting exception. No recommendations were made. 

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July 28, 2017

28 July, 2017

Township of Tehkummah

The Ombudsman received a complaint regarding five closed meetings held by council for the Township of Tehkummah. During our review of the minutes and materials from these meetings, we identified several best practices to enhance the accountability and transparency of Tehkummah’s meetings. These best practices related to the type of information that should be included in meeting minutes and resolutions to proceed in camera, as well as how to share information following council’s return from a closed meeting. We also encouraged the municipality to adopt the best practice of audio or video recording its open and closed meetings. 

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July 5, 2017

5 July, 2017

County of Norfolk

On March 14, 2017 council for the County of Norfolk went in closed session to receive a deputation from representatives of the Port Dover Community Health Centre Board and to receive legal advice pertaining to the deputation, citing the “personal matters” and “advice subject to solicitor-client privilege” exceptions. The Ombudsman received a complaint that this discussion did not fit within the cited exceptions. The Ombudsman found that the Board’s deputation did not qualify as personal information and that portion of the closed session meeting did not fit within the “personal matters” exception. The portions of the closed session discussion before and after the deputation fit within the “advice subject to solicitor-client privilege” exception.

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June 30, 2017

30 June, 2017

Municipality of St.-Charles

The Ombudsman received a complaint that the General Government Committee for the Municipality of St.-Charles inappropriately met in camera on March 6, 2017, to discuss allegations regarding employee municipal credit card abuse. The Ombudsman determined that the committee’s discuss fit within the “litigation or potential litigation” and the “personal matters about an identifiable individual” closed meeting exceptions. The Ombudsman also recommended that the municipality update its procedure by-law to reflect the closed meeting provisions in the Municipal Act, 2001.

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June 27, 2017

27 June, 2017

Learning opportunity

Council for the City of Oshawa held a closed meeting on December 17, 2015, to hear from the city-owned Oshawa Power and Utilities Corporation. The meeting was closed under the exception for “education or training,” and the resolution indicated that the corporation would be educating council about “local distribution company trends.”

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June 27, 2017

27 June, 2017

Too secret

When council for the City of Timmins went in camera on June 27, 2016 to talk about the city’s Chief Administrative Officer retiring, the discussion fit within the exception for personal matters.

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May 19, 2017

19 May, 2017

City of Timmins

The Ombudsman received a complaint that council for the City of Timmins held an illegal meeting on March 30, 2015 when it met in closed session to discuss an open procurement project. The Ombudsman determined that council’s discussion did not fit within the litigation or potential litigation exception or any other exception to the open meeting rules.

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May 17, 2017

17 May, 2017

Town of Grimsby

We received two complaints that council for the Town of Grimsby held meetings in its capacity as a shareholder of Niagara Power Inc. without providing notice to the public, contrary to the open meeting rules. The complaints alleged that, on November 11 and December 5, 2016, council failed to provide public notice of meetings and did not make meeting minutes available to the public. The Ombudsman found that Council for the Town of Grimsby contravened the Municipal Act and the municipality’s procedure by-law when it discussed council business in camera on November 11, 2016 without providing notice to the public. The town also violated the Act by failing to pass a resolution to close the meeting. Council for the Town of Grimsby did not contravene the Act when it met informally on December 5, 2016, as this was not a “meeting” for the purposes of the Act.

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May 12, 2017

12 May, 2017

City of Niagara Falls

The Ombudsman received a complaint that council for the City of Niagara Falls discussed and voted on the sale of property in camera. The complainant alleged that the discussion was not permitted in closed session because the sale price was established, such that the municipality did not have a bargaining position to protect. The Ombudsman found that the discussion fit with the exception, as no final decision had been made about whether or not to accept the offer. The Ombudsman also found that council did not vote on the matter in camera. A number of best practice recommendations were provided to the municipality, including with respect to the content of minutes and the quality of audio recordings.

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May 10, 2017

10 May, 2017

Township of Alfred and Plantagenet

The Ombudsman received a complaint that council for the Township of Alfred and Plantagenet had held illegal closed meetings in 2016 to discuss an organizational study of the municipality. The complaint also alleged that council improperly voted by email to approve funding related to a grant application. The Ombudsman found that the Township contravened the Municipal Act, 2001 and it procedure by-law when it voted during a closed session on April 4, 2016 and when it held three meetings without following any of the procedural requirements for meetings of council. The Ombudsman also found that the Township contravened the Municipal Act, 2001 when it approved funding related to a grant application by email and by telephone.

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May 3, 2017

3 May, 2017

Township of Russell

On December 12, 2016 council for the Township of Russell went in closed session to discuss naming rights for a new sports facility, citing the “personal matters” and “litigation or potential litigation” exceptions.  The Ombudsman received a complaint that this discussion did not fit within any of the exceptions to the open meeting requirements under the Municipal Act. The Ombudsman found that the general discussion pertained to fundraising, naming rights and advertising for the sports facility, not to personal matters. There also was no discussion of potential litigation. Accordingly, the meeting was not permitted to be closed to the public.

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April 21, 2017

21 April, 2017

City of Timmins

Council for the City of Timmins contravened the Municipal Act on December 19, 2016 when it met in camera with a representative of Northern College to discuss a proposed development agreement with the college. The discussion between council and college’s representative did not fall within the acquisition or disposition of land exception to the Act’s open meeting requirement.

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April 3, 2017

3 April, 2017

Town of Fort Erie - Board of Management for the Ridgeway Business Improvement Area

We received a complaint that the Board of Management for the Ridgeway Business Improvement Area (BIA) in the Town of Fort Erie discussed a matter in camera on November 2, 2016 contrary to the open meeting rules. BIA boards are local boards subject to the open meeting rules. The Ombudsman found that the matter discussed by the board in camera fit within the exceptions for personal matters about an identifiable individual, and labour relations or employee negotiations. However, the board committed procedural violations by failing to pass a resolution before going in camera, failing to record meeting minutes, and voting in a closed meeting. The Ombudsman recognized that most of the board members were volunteers who had not received training on the open meeting rules, and recommended that the Town of Fort Erie ensure all members of its local boards receive such training.

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March 1, 2017

1 March, 2017

City of London

The Ombudsman received a complaint that the November 1, 2016 meeting of London’s Corporate Services Committee was illegally closed to the public to discuss a general policy matter. The Ombudsman found that, while there is no exception to the open meeting requirements that authorizes general policy discussions to take place behind closed doors, the in camera discussion at this meeting was permitted under the solicitor-client privilege exception.

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February 17, 2017

17 February, 2017

City of London

The Ombudsman received complaints that the City of London held illegal closed meetings on May 17 and June 23, 2016, to discuss the appointment of an integrity commissioner, and a recent report of the integrity commissioner. The Ombudsman found that the May 17 Committee of the Whole meeting was permitted to be closed to the public under the solicitor-client privilege and personal matters exceptions, and the June 23 council meeting was permitted to be closed to the public under the solicitor-client privilege exception.

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February 13, 2017

13 February, 2017

Municipality of Brockton

We received complaints alleging that the Walkerton Business Improvement Area and the Municipality of Brockton held three improperly closed meetings on June 13, June 20, and September 27, 2016. The Ombudsman determined that the Walkerton Business Improvement Area did not contravene the Municipal Act, 2001 on June 13 because the discussion between three board members was not a “meeting” under the Act and was not subject to the Act’s open meeting requirements. The Ombudsman also determined that council for the Municipality of Brockton did not contravene the Act on June 20, 2016, when it met in camera to discuss matters that were subject to “litigation or potential litigation”. However, on September 27, 2016, the municipality contravened the Act when a quorum of councillors attended an information session related to a Drainage Act petition.

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February 9, 2017

9 February, 2017

Municipality of Temagami

The Ombudsman received a complaint that council for the municipality of Temagami held illegal closed sessions on April 28 and August 11, 2016. The Ombudsman found that the discussions held in camera at the April 28 meeting fit within the solicitor-client privilege exception to the open meeting requirements, and the discussions at the August 11 meeting fit within the personal matters exception.

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January 24, 2017

24 January, 2017

Township of Laird

We received a complaint that the Laird Fairgrounds Management Board held a meeting that did not comply with the open meeting rules on August 10, 2016.  The board is a committee of the Township of Laird. The committee did not contravene the Municipal Act, 2001 or the Township of Laird’s procedure by-law when it discussed a matter in camera on August 10, 2016. The discussion fit within the exception for personal matters about an identifiable individual.

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January 23, 2017

23 January, 2017

City of Timmins

The Ombudsman received a complaint that council for the City of Timmins held two illegal closed session discussions on August 8, 2016 and August 29, 2016, about the City’s Canada Day 150 Celebrations. The Ombudsman determined that council contravened the Municipal Act when it went in camera on August 8, 2016 under the solicitor-client advice exception and that council should not have voted during that closed session. The Ombudsman found that council did not contravene the  Municipal Act when it went in camera on August 29, 2016 under the solicitor-client advice exception.

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January 23, 2017

23 January, 2017

City of Timmins

Council for the City of Timmins contravened the Municipal Act on June 27, 2016 when it went in camera to discuss the recruitment process to replace the retiring CAO. The discussion did not fall within the personal matters exception to the Municipal Act’s open meeting requirements. The Ombudsman also found that council should not have voted in closed session to form a hiring committee and voted by way of secret ballot on the membership of council members to that committee. 

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January 20, 2017

20 January, 2017

City of Greater Sudbury

The Ombudsman received a complaint that council went in camera to discuss a report regarding contracts between the city and a transit ticket kiosk. The complaint also alleged that council voted while in camera to write off an uncollectible account, prior to voting on the matter in open session on May 31, 2016.

The Ombudsman determined that council did not contravene the Municipal Act when it went in camera to discuss the report on March 2 and March 23, 2016 under the personal matters and solicitor-client privilege exceptions, or on April 26, 2016 under the personal matters exception. The Ombudsman also found that council did not improperly vote on the uncollectible account during a closed meeting.

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January 19, 2017

19 January, 2017

Township of Georgian Bay

The Ombudsman received a complaint that council for the Township of Georgian Bay held illegal closed session discussions on October 13, 2015 and January 11, 2016, about a shoreline structure that did not meet the requirements of the zoning by-law. The Ombudsman determined that council did not contravene the Municipal Act when it went in camera at these meetings under the litigation or potential litigation exception. However, council contravened the Act when it voted during its in camera meeting on October 13, 2015.

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December 29, 2016

29 December, 2016

Niagara District Airport Commission

The Niagara District Airport Commission contravened the Municipal Act on July 14, 2016, when it went in camera to discuss ongoing airport fee negotiations and related airport upgrades. This meeting did not fall within the “advice subject to solicitor-client privilege” exception, or any exception, to the Municipal Act’s open meeting requirements. The Ombudsman also made recommendations to improve the commission’s procedure by-law and its process for providing information to the public about closed session discussions.

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December 22, 2016

22 December, 2016

City of Elliot Lake

The City of Elliot Lake's Ad Hoc Multi-Use Committee is a committee of council subject to the Municipal Act's open meeting requirements. The committee violated the open meeting requirements and the city's procedural by-law on March 22, 2016 and May 5, 2016 when it held meetings without providing notice to the public. 

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December 13, 2016

13 December, 2016

Township of Hornepayne

The Township of Hornepayne’s Nuclear Waste Community Liaison Committee is a committee of council subject to the Municipal Act’s open meeting requirements. The committee contravened the Act and the township’s procedure by-law on January 12, 2016, when it held a meeting without providing any notice to the public.

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November 14, 2016

14 November, 2016

Town of Grimsby

Council for the Town of Grimsby contravened the Municipal Act and the municipality’s procedure by-law when it discussed a municipally-controlled corporation, Niagara Power Inc., in camera on May 2, 2016. The discussion did not fit within any of the exceptions to the open meeting rules. There is no exception in the Act for discussions about sensitive business information.

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November 7, 2016

7 November, 2016

County of Norfolk

The Ombudsman received complaints that council for the County of Norfolk met illegally in a closed meeting on May 24, 2016 to discuss the development of a site-specific zoning by-law for an area in the county known as Hastings Drive. The complaints also alleged that council improperly voted during the closed meeting to remove an option for the zoning by-law from consideration. The Ombudsman determined that council did not contravene the Municipal Act when it went in camera on May 24, 2016 under the litigation or potential litigation exception and the solicitor-client privilege exception. The Ombudsman also found that council did not improperly vote during the closed meeting. One of the complaints alleged that the resolution to proceed in camera was vague. Given the nature of the discussions (solicitor-client privileged advice), the Ombudsman found that the resolution to proceed in camera was sufficient.

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November 3, 2016

3 November, 2016

City of Niagara Falls

The Ombudsman received a complaint that council for the City of Niagara Falls violated the Municipal Act when it voted in closed session to commit $10 million towards a proposed partnership with a post-secondary institution. The Ombudsman found that the discussion did not fit within any of the closed meeting exceptions and that as a result, council was not entitled to vote in closed session on a resolution directing staff to proceed with the partnership.

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September 27, 2016

27 September, 2016

Municipality of West Nipissing

We received a complaint that the Municipality of West Nipissing failed to provide sufficient notice to the public in advance of a July 21, 2016 special council meeting. The municipality’s procedure by-law failed to set a public notice requirement for special meetings. West Nipissing has now amended its procedure by-law to provide for public notice of all meetings.

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September 14, 2016

14 September, 2016

Town of Goderich

The Ombudsman received a complaint that the Recreation Board of Management and Board’s Ad Hoc Committee in the Town of Goderich held meetings in 2015 and 2016 that did not comply with the open meeting requirements of the Municipal Act. The Ombudsman found that the Recreation Board of Management falls within the Municipal Act’s definition of a “local board” and is subject to the Act’s open meeting requirements. The Ombudsman cautioned the Board to be vigilant in adhering to the requirements of the Municipal Act in the future when it forms committees. The Ombudsman noted that, the Board and the Ad Hoc Committee include volunteer members who acted in good faith for the benefit of the community. A number of recommendations were made to assist the Board in improving its open meeting practices.

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September 8, 2016

8 September, 2016

Township of Leeds and the Thousand Islands

The Ombudsman received a complaint that council for the Township of Leeds and the Thousand Islands had discussed a zoning by-law application over email. The Ombudsman determined that council violated the open meeting requirements of the Municipal Act by discussing council business over email and recommended that council cease its practice of discussing council business using quorum emails or any other electronic format.

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September 8, 2016

8 September, 2016

Township of Leeds and the Thousand Islands

The Ombudsman received a complaint that council for the Township of Leeds and the Thousand Islands discussed reassignment of the Chief Administrative Officer’s duties during a closed meeting held on April 18, 2016. The Ombudsman found that the discussion fit within the exception for personal matters about an identifiable individual, but cautioned that council’s resolution to proceed in camera should provide more information about the subjects to be discussed in closed session.

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August 11, 2016

11 August, 2016

Township of Woolwich

The Ombudsman received a complaint that committee of the whole for the Township of Woolwich held an improper closed meeting between the closed and open sessions on March 22, 2016 at which they made a decision on an upcoming delegation. The Ombudsman found no evidence that a quorum of the committee discussed the delegation as a group behind closed doors, or laid the groundwork for a decision on the delegation.

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August 5, 2016

5 August, 2016

Municipality of Brockton (Walkerton BIA)

The Ombudsman received a complaint that on June 8, 2016, the board of directors for the Walkerton Business Improvement Area discussed matters that did not fall within the exceptions in the Municipal Act, 2001. The Ombudsman found that the discussion fit within the exception for litigation or potential litigation.

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August 2, 2016

2 August, 2016

City of Sault Ste. Marie

The Ombudsman received a complaint that council for the City of Sault Ste. Marie discussed matters that did not fall within the exceptions in the Municipal Act, 2001 during a closed meeting on October 13, 2015. During the meeting, council received a presentation by the City’s Fire Chief. The Ombudsman determined that the meeting fit within the exception for labour relations or employee negotiations.

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July 19, 2016

19 July, 2016

City of Brockville

Our Office received two complaints about the March 7, 2016 meeting held by the OPP Contact Adhoc Committee for the City of Brockville. Both complaints alleged that the committee’s meeting with representatives of the Ontario Provincial Police did not come within the Municipal Act's closed meeting exception for “education and training” sessions. The Ombudsman determined that the committee did not contravene the Act when it went in camera to acquire education and training about the OPP costing process. However, in addition to receiving this general information from the OPP, the committee decided to advance the costing process by voting to direct staff to approach an audit firm to assess the OPP costing proposal once the city receives it. This discussion and direction to staff advanced the committee’s business and decision-making and did not fall within the “education and training” exception, or any exception, to the Municipal Act’s open meeting requirements. The Ombudsman also identified various procedural issues with the committee's practices.

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July 19, 2016

19 July, 2016

City of Hamilton

The Ombudsman received a complaint that the Election Compliance Audit Committee for the City of Hamilton held a “deliberation” on July 15, 2015 that was illegally closed to the public. The Ombudsman determined that the city's Election Compliance Audit Committee falls within the Municipal Act’s definition of a “local board” and is subject to the Act’s open meeting requirements. The committee contravened the Act on July 15, 2015, when it met in private to deliberate on various applications that were before the committee. Notice of the meeting was not provided, no procedure was followed to close the meeting to the public, and even if this procedure had been followed, the committee’s discussion did not fall within any of the Act’s closed meeting exceptions.

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July 19, 2016

19 July, 2016

City of Oshawa

The Ombudsman received four complaints about a meeting held by council for the City of Oshawa on December 17, 2015. Each complaint alleged that council’s meeting with the Oshawa Power and Utilities Corporation on that date did not come within the Municipal Act’s closed meeting exception for “education and training” sessions. The Ombudsman found that council for the City of Oshawa contravened the Municipal Act on December 17, 2015, when it went in camera to obtain information about a proposed merger between OPUC and Veridian. This meeting did not fall within the “education and training” exception, or any exception, to the Municipal Act’s open meeting requirements. A number of recommendations were made to assist the city in improving its open meeting practices.

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July 6, 2016

6 July, 2016

Town of Amherstburg

We received a complaint that council for the Town of Amherstburg discussed approval of the town’s accounts payable over email during December 2014 and January 2015. We also received complaints that council discussed items in closed meetings on October 14 and 26, 2015 that did not fit within the exceptions to the open meeting rules.

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June 10, 2016

10 June, 2016

Norfolk County

We received complaints that council for Norfolk County discussed matters that did not fall within the exceptions in the Municipal Act, 2001 during closed meetings on January 19 and February 16, 2016.

The Ombudsman found that the discussion on January 19 fit within the exceptions for solicitor-client privilege, and litigation or potential litigation. The Ombudsman found that the February 16 discussion fit within the exception for personal matters about identifiable individuals. ​

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June 3, 2016

3 June, 2016

Town of Midland

The Ombudsman found that council for the Town of Midland violated the Municipal Act on September 14, 2015 when it discussed in camera matters relating to a housing development that did not fit within any exception to the open meeting rules. References during the discussion to personal matters about an individual were not the focus of the conversation and did not justify holding the discussion in camera. Council also contravened the Act when it voted on the housing matter during an illegal closed meeting.

The Ombudsman found that Midland council did not contravene the open meeting rules on October 13, 2015, as its discussions fit within the exception for personal matters about an identifiable individual.
On both dates, council for Midland violated a procedural requirement in the Act by failing to state by resolution the general nature of the matters to be considered in the closed sessions.

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May 19, 2016

19 May, 2016

City of Greater Sudbury

Our Office received a complaint that Greater Sudbury's council held an illegal closed meeting on April 7, 2016 when it attended a roundtable with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. The roundtable was closed to the media and the public. Our review determined that a meeting for the purposes of the <i>Municipal Act</i> did not occur since there was no discussion between council members of council business or the laying of groundwork for council business. Council members directly addressed their comments regarding the community needs and opportunities to the Prime Minister.

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May 10, 2016

10 May, 2016

Norfolk County

Our Office received a complaint that Norfolk County's council-in-committee held an illegal closed meeting on December 1, 2015 when it went in camera to discuss whether to approve a legal services contract extension with two law firms. Our investigation determined that the majority of the committee's discussion did not fall within any of the exceptions to the Municipal Act’s open meeting requirements. The Ombudsman made a number of recommendations to improve local practices in the interest of transparency and accountability.

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May 6, 2016

6 May, 2016

The Nation Municipality

Our Office received a complaint that council for The Nation Municipality held an illegal closed meeting on August 31, 2015 when it restricted access to a council meeting to those who could fit inside the Town Hall, and prohibited individuals from using a microphone and speakers to broadcast the meeting proceedings outside in the parking lot.

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April 19, 2016

19 April, 2016

Township of Russell

We received a complaint that council for the Township of Russell discussed items in closed session on December 7, 2015, that did not fit within the exceptions to the open meeting rules. The Ombudsman found that council contravened the Municipal Act, 2001 when it discussed councillor remuneration in closed session. However, council did not contravene the Act when it went in camera to discuss changes to township employee compensation. Portions of the discussion relating to the salaries of identified municipal employees fell within the closed meeting exception for personal information about an identifiable individual. Other portions of the discussion relating to the township’s compensation strategy and proposed changes to the salary grid fell within the closed meeting exception for labour relations or employee negotiations.

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February 24, 2016

24 February, 2016

City of London

We received two complaints that council for the City of London held an illegal closed meeting on June 10, 2015. Shortly after the meeting began, there was a disruption in the public gallery and members of the public were asked to leave the building. Once the security issue was resolved, the doors to City Hall remained locked to the public.

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February 23, 2016

23 February, 2016

Town of Fort Erie

We received a complaint that on December 14, 2015, a locked security door prevented the public from accessing the room where council for the Town of Fort Erie was holding what they thought was an open meeting of council. The Acting Ombudsman found that the locked door effectively prevented the public from accessing the meeting room. As a result, the meeting was improperly closed to the public and the public’s right to observe municipal government in process was frustrated. A number of recommendations were made to assist the town in improving its open meeting practices. ​

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February 4, 2016

4 February, 2016

Village of Casselman

Our office found that discussions of a consultant's report on July 3 and July 14, 2015 fit within the personal matters exception to the open meeting requirements. We made a number of suggestions, however, to improve the closed meeting practices of council for the Village of Casselman.

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February 4, 2016

4 February, 2016

Municipality of St.-Charles

We received a complaint that council for the Municipality of St.-Charles discussed items in closed meetings on May 15, 2012, June 19, 2013, and May 29, 2014 that did not fit within the exceptions to the open meeting rules. The Ombudsman found that council for St.-Charles contravened the Municipal Act when it discussed audit reports, management letters, and other auditor findings and recommendations in closed session during each of the three meetings. Discussions of individual staff performance and conduct, which ensued as a result of the review of the audit report and management letter, fell within the exceptions for personal matters and labour relations.

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January 5, 2016

5 January, 2016

Township of Russell

We received complaints about two closed meetings held by council for the Township of Russell during the afternoon and evening of August 10, 2015. Our review found that council did not contravene the Municipal Act, 2001​ on the afternoon of August 10 when it went in camera to receive training on strategic planning because the discussion fell within the exception for education or training sessions. We also found that one matter discussed on the evening of August 10 fell within the exception for personal matters about an identifiable individual. However, our review found that three of the closed session matters discussed the evening of August 10 did not fall within any of the Act's exceptions to the open meeting requirements.

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December 4, 2015

4 December, 2015

Township of McKellar

We received a complaint that the Economic Development Committee for the Township of McKellar held an illegal meeting over email in April 2015 and in person on May 5, 2015. Our review found that the committee contravened the Act and the township's procedure by-law by holding a closed meeting and vote over email between April 22 and 24, 2015. We also found that the committee discussed a matter in camera on May 5 that did not fit within the exceptions in the Act. The Ombudsman noted that, at the time of the meetings, the committee was comprised entirely of volunteer members who acted in good faith while trying to deal with a difficult relationship with council. A number of recommendations were made to assist the township in improving its open meeting practices.

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December 1, 2015

1 December, 2015

Heads of Council in West Parry Sound

We received a complaint that the heads of council for seven municipalities in West Parry Sound (the Township of Carling, the Municipality of Whitestone, the Town of Parry Sound, the Township of The Archipelago, Seguin Township, the Municipality of McDougall, and the Township of McKellar) have been holding illegal closed meetings, including on February 19, 2015. Our review found that the heads of council gatherings are not meetings for the purposes of the open meeting requirements. The Ombudsman encouraged the heads of council to consider opening their gatherings to the public, given the public interest in many of the matters they discuss.

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November 28, 2015

28 November, 2015

Regional Municipality of Niagara

We received a complaint that the May 13, 2015 inaugural meeting of the Long Term Care Task Force for the Niagara Region was illegally closed to the public. Our investigation found that this meeting contravened the open meeting provisions of the Municipal Act, 2001 and the region's procedure by-law. Notice of the meeting was not provided, no procedure was followed to close the meeting to the public, and, even if this procedure had been followed, the task force's discussion did not fall within any of the closed meeting exceptions. A number of recommendations were made to assist the task force in improving its open meeting practices. ​

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November 26, 2015

26 November, 2015

City of Owen Sound

The Ombudsman found that the May 25 and June 15, 2015 social gatherings attended by councillors for the City of Owen Sound did not contravene the open meeting requirements of the Municipal Act, 2001. In addition, the Ombudsman found that council did not contravene the Act on April 27, 2015 when it went in camera to receive legal advice to related to council’s faith blessing. The Ombudsman did not make any recommendations to council.

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November 23, 2015

23 November, 2015

Township of Bonfield

The Ombudsman found that the May 19 and June 2, 2015 closed session discussions of the Public Works Committee for the Township of Bonfield did not violate the open meeting requirements of the Municipal Act, 2001.  However, the Ombudsman did identify several procedural violations and made a number of recommendations to improve local practices in the interest of transparency and accountability.

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November 23, 2015

23 November, 2015

Township of West Lincoln

The Ombudsman found that the June 15, 2015 closed session discussion of the Administration/Finance/Fire Committee of the Township of West Lincoln did not violate the open meeting requirements of the <i>Municipal Act, 2001</i>. The Ombudsman also found that the June 22, 2015 closed session discussion by council for the Township of West Lincoln did not violate the Act’s open meeting provisions. Both meetings fell within the exception for advice subject to solicitor-client privilege. However, the Ombudsman identified several issues with the township's closed meeting procedures and made recommendations to improve council's practices.

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November 20, 2015

20 November, 2015

Town of Amherstburg

We received complaints that council for the Town of Amherstburg held illegal closed meeting on January 10 and June 2, 2015. Our review found that the discussions on January 10 fit within the exceptions for personal matters about an identifiable individual and solicitor-client privilege. We found that the discussions on June 2 fit within the exceptions for personal matters about an identifiable individual, solicitor-client privilege, and labour relations or employee negotiations.

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November 19, 2015

19 November, 2015

City of Port Colborne

We received a complaint that council for the City of Port Colborne held illegal meetings on March 8, 2010, January 27, 2014, and December 8, 2014. Our review found that the council discussions on March 8, 2010 fit within the exceptions for
acquisition or disposition of land and personal matters about an identifiable individual. Discussions on January 27, 2014 fit within the exceptions for personal matters, acquisition or disposition of land, and advice subject to solicitor-client privilege.

On December 8, 2014, the city held an illegal closed meeting. Council's discussions regarding corporate expansion projects, a non-profit organization, and the disposition of city-owned shares in a company did not fit within any of the exceptions to the open meeting rules. Our Office advised the City to cite the proper exception to close a meeting, provide more specificity in the resolution to close a meeting, and avoid talking about matters in camera that do not fit within an exception in the Act.

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November 9, 2015

9 November, 2015

City of Niagara Falls

The Ombudsman found that the council for the City of Niagara Falls did not violate the open meeting provisions of the Municipal Act, 2001 when it informally discussed the council prayer on April 28, 2015.

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November 9, 2015

9 November, 2015

City of Elliot Lake

The Ombudsman found that council for the City of Elliot Lake did not contravene the Municipal Act, 2001 during in-camera meetings on April 13 and April 17, 2015. In addition, there was no evidence that an informal meeting took place on April 17, 2015 following the meeting of council. The Ombudsman also found that an April 20, 2015 gathering of three members of council was not a meeting for the purposes of the open meeting requirements of the Act.

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November 2, 2015

2 November, 2015

Township of Russell

Our Office found that council for the Township of Russell held an illegal closed meeting on June 1, 2015 when it went in camera to view a rebranding presentation for the township. The rebranding presentation did not fall within the exception for education and training sessions, or any other exception, to the open meeting requirements. We also found that the municipality violated section 239(4)(a) of the Act by failing to state by resolution the general nature of the topics to be considered in closed session.

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November 2, 2015

2 November, 2015

Municipality of Brighton

Our Office found that the discussions held by council for the Municipality of Brighton on May 28, 2015 fit within the closed meeting exceptions in the Municipal Act. However, council technically contravened the voting provisions of the Municipal Act and the township’s procedure by-law when it voted on five resolutions in camera. While the purpose and effect of the resolutions was to provide direction to staff, they were not worded as such. Our Office also found that the municipality violated section 239(4)(a) of the Act by failing to state by resolution the general nature of the topics to be considered in closed session.

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October 30, 2015

30 October, 2015

Town of Essex

The Ombudsman found that the Town of Essex held an illegal closed meeting when it exercised its authority and decided through a series of emails in April 2015 to modify the council prayer. The Ombudsman acknowledged that council and staff acted in good faith in order to ensure compliance with the law as clarified by the Supreme Court of Canada. In their haste, however, they failed to turn their minds to the need for transparency and the open meeting requirements contained in the Municipal Act.

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October 28, 2015

28 October, 2015

Village of Burk's Falls / Armour Township

The Ombudsman found that, when councils for Armour Township and the Village of Burk’s Falls met in camera on January 16, 2015, parts of the discussion did not fit within the exceptions in to the open meeting rules in the Act. The councils also failed to comply with a number of procedural rules in the Act and their respective procedure by-laws. A number of recommendations were made to each municipality to improve local practices in the interest of transparency and accountability.

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October 6, 2015

6 October, 2015

Town of South Bruce Peninsula

The Ombudsman received a complaint that council for the Town of South Bruce Peninsula voted illegally during several closed sessions discussing the Wiarton Keppel International Airport, all of which were closed under the “acquisition or disposition of land” exception to the open meeting provisions of the <i>Municipal Act, 2001</i> (the Act). The complaint also alleged other procedural irregularities, informal gatherings and a serial meeting by email. The Ombudsman found that the town did not contravene the open meeting requirements of the Act, though he did identify best practices and procedural step to further improve the town's meeting practices.

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August 10, 2015

10 August, 2015

Township of Woolwich

The Ombudsman found that council for the Township of Woolwich contravened the Municipal Act during in-camera discussions on January 13, January 20 and February 3, 2015, as well as when it voted to direct staff while in camera on January 20 and February 3, while discussing matters that were not permitted in camera. Council did not contravene the Act during an in camera discussion related to litigation or potential litigation at an August 11, 2014 committee meeting.

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July 10, 2015

10 July, 2015

Township of Leeds and the Thousand Islands

The Ombudsman found that council did not contravene the Municipal Act or its procedure by-law by laying the groundwork for future decision-making. However, he did find that the information provided by email and in person prior to this meeting came very close to the line. The only reason the councillor's attempts to lay the groundwork for an upcoming decision of council did not rise to the level of a closed meeting for the purposes of the Act is that he was unsuccessful in his attempt to discuss the matter with a quorum of council.

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July 8, 2015

8 July, 2015

Township of Chamberlain

The Ombudsman was unable to confirm that closed meetings held in November and December 2013 were justified under the Municipal Act, due to the lack of meeting records and available witness information. However, the Ombudsman found that council for the Township of Chamberlain did not violate the Act when it closed part of its June 3, 2014, February 3, 2015, and February 6, 2015 meetings to the public. The Ombudsman made a number of recommendations to assist council to improve its practices with respect to open meetings.

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July 6, 2015

6 July, 2015

Township of McMurrich-Monteith

The Ombudsman found that the discussions held by council for McMurrich-Monteith fit within the exceptions in the Municipal Act. The Ombudsman found that the township violated section 239(4)(a) of the Act by failing to state by resolution the general nature of the topics to be considered in closed session on January 12 and February 9. The Ombudsman also found that the township violated its procedural by-law by extending a closed meeting past its 11 p.m. curfew. Further, the township is not following best practices by failing to provide enough information in its agendas about matters to be discussed in closed session, and by failing to ensure that its agendas and resolutions correctly cite the Act.

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June 24, 2015

24 June, 2015

Municipality of Magnetawan

The Ombudsman found that council for the Municipality of Magnetawan contravened the Act and its own procedure by-law by failing to provide advance notice of the February 28 meeting. Due to the lack of notice, the public was unable to attend the meeting, such that the meeting was effectively closed. The discussions that took place did not fit within any exceptions in the Act. The Ombudsman found that the discussions held in closed session on March 4 fit within the exception for personal matters about an identifiable individual.

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June 12, 2015

12 June, 2015

City of London

We received a complaint that London's Strategic Priorities and Policy Committee illegally closed a meeting to discuss proposals from developers hoping to purchase and redevelop land owned by the City. The Ombudsman found that the discussions fit within the exceptions for acquisition or disposition of land and solicitor-client privilege.

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June 5, 2015

5 June, 2015

Township of Leeds and the Thousand Islands

The Ombudsman found that discussions held in person and over email by councillors-elect for the Township of Leeds and the Thousand Islands prior to their swearing in did not constitute illegal meetings under the Act because there was technically no quorum of council involved.

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April 27, 2015

27 April, 2015

Town of Cochrane

The Ombudsman found that council for the Town of Cochrane did not violate the Municipal Act when it closed part of its January 27, 2015 meeting under the "advice that is subject to solicitor-client privilege" exception.

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April 24, 2015

24 April, 2015

City of Elliot Lake

The Ombudsman found that council for the City of Elliot Lake did not contravene the Municipal Act when it proceeded in camera at meetings held on December 1 and December 15, 2014, and January 5 and February 9, 2015. However, council did contravene the Act when it considered a matter in camera at its December 22, 2014 meeting that did not fit within the "personal matters" exception to the open meeting requirements.

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April 22, 2015

22 April, 2015

City of Hamilton

The Ombudsman found that the City of Hamilton did not contravene the Municipal Act when it closed a meeting to the public on December 10, 2014, under the "acquisition or disposition of land" and "a matter under another act" exceptions.

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April 16, 2015

16 April, 2015

Village of Casselman “Restaurant Roundtable”

The Ombudsman found that council for the Village of Casselman violated the open meeting requirements at a lunchtime gathering with developers on January 8, 2015.

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April 13, 2015

13 April, 2015

Town of Amherstburg

The Ombudsman found that council for the Town of Amherstburg violated the Municipal Act when it discussed bank signing authorities in closed session under the "personal matters" exception on December 10, 2014.

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April 13, 2015

13 April, 2015

Town of Fort Erie

The Ombudsman found that the Town of Fort Erie did not contravene the Municipal Act when it held a closed meeting on December 10 for the purpose of "education or training". However, the "acquisition or disposition of land" exception, which also was cited, did not apply to the discussions held on December 10.

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April 6, 2015

6 April, 2015

Municipality of Central Huron

The Ombudsman found that council for the Municipality of Central Huron did not contravene the Municipal Act when it closed a portion of its January 12, 2015, meeting under the "personal matters" exception. However, the Ombudsman found that council violated its procedure by-law when it failed to audio or video record the closed session.

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March 18, 2015

18 March, 2015

Town of Bracebridge

The Ombudsman found that council for the Town of Bracebridge did not contravene the Municipal Act when it closed portions of the December 9 and December 17 meetings under the "personal matters" exception.

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March 5, 2015

5 March, 2015

City of Niagara Falls

The Ombudsman found that Council for the City of Niagara Falls held an illegal meeting on October 8, 2013. The matter discussed did not fit within any permissible exceptions to the open meeting requirements, and no public notice of the closed session was provided.

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March 5, 2015

5 March, 2015

City of Niagara Falls - "Park Protest"

The Ombudsman found that the in camera discussion held by council for the City of Niagara Falls on May 29, 2012 with respect to Marineland fit within the solicitor-client privilege exception to the open meeting requirements. The Ombudsman also found that informal "operational" meetings in 2011, 2012 and 2013 did not constitute meetings for the purposes of the open meeting requirements. The Ombudsman made recommendations to improve the City of Niagara Falls’ procedure by-law.

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March 3, 2015

3 March, 2015

Village of Casselman

The Ombudsman found that a dinner on November 11, 2014, attended by the newly elected council did not violate the open meeting requirements. However, the Ombudsman found that the signing of a letter on November 6, 2014, by a quorum of council in office at the time was an exercise of council authority in a sequential or serial manner, in violation of the open meeting requirements.

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March 2, 2015

2 March, 2015

Municipality of South Huron

The Ombudsman found that council for the Municipality of South Huron did not contravene the Municipal Act during seven meetings held between November 2008 and December 2013.

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February 13, 2015

13 February, 2015

Village of Westport

The Ombudsman found that council for the Village of Westport contravened its procedure by-law by failing to provide adequate notice of the October 28, 2014 council meeting.

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January 23, 2015

23 January, 2015

City of Thorold

The Ombudsman found that council for the City of Thorold did not contravene the Municipal Act during individual discussions held between November 3 and November 28, 2014.

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January 12, 2015

12 January, 2015

Town of Cochrane

The Ombudsman found that discussions held by council for the Town of Cochrane at its February 12, 2013 meeting fit within the personal matters exception to the open meeting requirements.

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January 9, 2015

9 January, 2015

Township of Black River-Matheson

The Ombudsman found that the September 2, 2014 meeting of the Committee of the Whole of the Township of Black River-Matheson violated the open meeting requirements, because public notice of the changed location of the meeting was not provided.

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January 9, 2015

9 January, 2015

City of Clarence-Rockland

The Ombudsman found that the August 27, 2014 meeting of council for the City of Clarence-Rockland was improperly closed to the public when council moved to a small conference room that could only accommodate council and select members of the media. The Ombudsman further found that the September 15, 2014, meeting was an open meeting of council and did not violate the requirements of the Municipal Act.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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").

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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. 

Topics include:Les sujets incluent:

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.

Topics include:Les sujets incluent:

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.

Topics include:Les sujets incluent:

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.

Topics include:Les sujets incluent:

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. 

Topics include:Les sujets incluent:

December 19, 2013

19 December, 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. 

Topics include:Les sujets incluent:

December 16, 2013

16 December, 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.

Topics include:Les sujets incluent:

December 13, 2013

13 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.

Topics include:Les sujets incluent:

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. 

Topics include:Les sujets incluent:

November 27, 2013

27 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.

Topics include:Les sujets incluent:

November 25, 2013

25 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.

Topics include:Les sujets incluent:

November 21, 2013

21 November, 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.

Topics include:Les sujets incluent:

November 7, 2013

7 November, 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. 

Topics include:Les sujets incluent:

November 4, 2013

4 November, 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.

Topics include:Les sujets incluent:

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.  

Topics include:Les sujets incluent:

October 25, 2013

25 October, 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. 

Topics include:Les sujets incluent:

October 22, 2013

22 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.

Topics include:Les sujets incluent:

October 22, 2013

22 October, 2013

City of London

“In the Back Room” - Ombudsman Report. Investigation into whether members of
Council for the City of London held an improper
closed meeting on February 23, 2013

Topics include:Les sujets incluent:

October 7, 2013

7 October, 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.

Topics include:Les sujets incluent:

September 23, 2013

23 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.

Topics include:Les sujets incluent:

September 9, 2013

9 September, 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.

Topics include:Les sujets incluent:

August 23, 2013

23 August, 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.

Topics include:Les sujets incluent:

August 20, 2013

20 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.

Topics include:Les sujets incluent:

August 16, 2013

16 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.

Topics include:Les sujets incluent:

July 31, 2013

31 July, 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. 

Topics include:Les sujets incluent:

July 5, 2013

5 July, 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.

Topics include:Les sujets incluent:

June 24, 2013

24 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.

Topics include:Les sujets incluent:

June 18, 2013

18 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.

Topics include:Les sujets incluent:

June 10, 2013

10 June, 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.  

Topics include:Les sujets incluent:

May 14, 2013

14 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. 

Topics include:Les sujets incluent:

May 14, 2013

14 May, 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.

Topics include:Les sujets incluent:

May 13, 2013

13 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. 

Topics include:Les sujets incluent:

May 8, 2013

8 May, 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.

Topics include:Les sujets incluent:

April 30, 2013

30 April, 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.

Topics include:Les sujets incluent:

April 24, 2013

24 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. 

Topics include:Les sujets incluent:

April 19, 2013

19 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.

Topics include:Les sujets incluent:

March 27, 2013

27 March, 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.  

 

Topics include:Les sujets incluent:

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.

Topics include:Les sujets incluent:

March 4, 2013

4 March, 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.

Topics include:Les sujets incluent:

February 25, 2013

25 February, 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.

Topics include:Les sujets incluent:

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.

Topics include:Les sujets incluent:

February 21, 2013

21 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.

Topics include:Les sujets incluent:

February 21, 2013

21 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.

Topics include:Les sujets incluent:

February 15, 2013

15 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.

Topics include:Les sujets incluent:

February 11, 2013

11 February, 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.

Topics include:Les sujets incluent:

February 8, 2013

8 February, 2013

Town of Hearst

The Ombudsman found that Council for the Town of Hearst's review of five applications/letters of interest for the Council seat vacancy was permitted under the Act.

Topics include:Les sujets incluent:

February 1, 2013

1 February, 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. 

Topics include:Les sujets incluent:

January 24, 2013

24 January, 2013

Town of Blind River

The Ombudsman found that council in the Town of Blind River did not violate the Municipal Act when it held a closed meeting on September 17, 2012.

Topics include:Les sujets incluent:

January 22, 2013

22 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. 

Topics include:Les sujets incluent:

November 19, 2012

19 November, 2012

City of Sarnia

The Ombudsman found that the Centennial Celebration Committee, comprised of the Mayor of Sarnia, City Manager, and no less than seven citizens, did not meet the definition of "committee" under the Municipal Act and, therefore, was not subject to the open meeting requirements. 

Topics include:Les sujets incluent:

October 11, 2012

11 October, 2012

Municipality of Magnetawan

The Ombudsman found that Council's agenda and resolution to proceed in camera did not accurately reflect the substance of the closed meeting on May 9, 2012.

Topics include:Les sujets incluent:

September 27, 2012

27 September, 2012

Town of Kearney

The Ombudsman found that the Town of Kearney's Ad Hoc Personnel Committee violated the Municipal Act when it held a closed meeting in April 2011.

Topics include:Les sujets incluent:

September 21, 2012

21 September, 2012

Town of Midland

The Ombudsman found that Council for the Town of Midland discussed issues in closed session on multiple occasions between December 2011 and March 2012 in circumstances that were not permitted under the exceptions to the Municipal Act.

Topics include:Les sujets incluent:

September 12, 2012

12 September, 2012

Regional Municipality of Niagara

The Ombudsman found that the Regional Municipality of Niagara's notice practice for advisory committee meetings did not comply with its Procedure By-Law in that agendas were not posted on the website prior to meetings.

Topics include:Les sujets incluent:

September 10, 2012

10 September, 2012

Municipality of Morris-Turnberry

In reviewing complaints that Council in Morris-Turnberry improperly discussed in closed meetings the development of a local fire department , the Ombudsman found that Council did not always accurately or clearly identify the subject matter to be discussed or the exceptions authorizing the closed meetings.  In addition, at the December 20, 2011 meeting, Council strayed from the subject matter permitted in a closed meeting.

Topics include:Les sujets incluent:

September 7, 2012

7 September, 2012

United Townships of Head, Clara and Maria

The Ombudsman found that Council for the United Townships of Head, Clara and Maria did not contravene the Municipal Act at meetings held in October and November 2011. The Ombudsman provided some best practice recommendations to help improve the transparency of closed meetings.

Topics include:Les sujets incluent:

September 5, 2012

5 September, 2012

City of Elliot Lake

The Ombudsman found that Council for the City of Elliot Lake violated the Municipal Act when a quorum of council attended a meeting of the Elliot Lake Residential Development Commission on April 16, 2012, and a meeting of the Nuclear Waste Management Organization on April 26, 2012.

Topics include:Les sujets incluent:

August 30, 2012

30 August, 2012

City of Greater Sudbury

The Ombudsman found that the City of Greater Sudbury did not contravene the open meeting requirements during meetings on October 3 and 12, November 9 and December 14, 2011, during which a personal matter related to an identifiable individual was discussed. However, he did strongly criticize council members for their reluctance to co-operate with the investigative process.

Topics include:Les sujets incluent:

August 2, 2012

2 August, 2012

City of London

The Ombudsman found that the City of London did not contravene the open meeting requirements when six members of council met for lunch at a local restaurant on February 21, 2012, prior to a budget meeting and several committee meetings.

Topics include:Les sujets incluent:

July 20, 2012

20 July, 2012

Town of Amherstburg

The Ombudsman found that the Town of Amherstburg did not contravene the open meeting requirements when it received advice subject to solicitor-client privilege in a closed session on January 9, 2012, or when it went in camera on February 13, 2012.

Topics include:Les sujets incluent:

July 16, 2012

16 July, 2012

Town of Fort Erie

The Ombudsman found that Fort Erie Council complied with the open meeting requirements in regard to closed meetings held on July 9 and 16, 2012, however,  they violated the open meeting requirements at two closed meetings in April and May, 2012.

Topics include:Les sujets incluent:

July 2, 2012

2 July, 2012

Township of Tiny

The Ombudsman found that the Township of Tiny's Committee of the Whole's March 26, 2012 closed meeting discussion about the public's reaction to a court decision was not permitted in a closed meeting under the exception "litigation or potential litigation."  In addition, the Ombudsman found that the Committee could have been more transparent in terms of the information provided to the public about the nature of closed meetings held on January 9 and March 12, 2006. 

Topics include:Les sujets incluent:

June 4, 2012

4 June, 2012

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.

Topics include:Les sujets incluent:

June 4, 2012

4 June, 2012

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.

Topics include:Les sujets incluent:

May 29, 2012

29 May, 2012

City of Niagara Falls

The Ombudsman reviewed three closed meetings in late 2011 and early 2012 and found that the matter discussed was permitted in a closed meeting.  However, the Ombudsman found that Council improperly relied on the "security of the property exception" to close two of the meetings and voted on a substantive matter in another closed session, contrary to the Act.

Topics include:Les sujets incluent:

May 28, 2012

28 May, 2012

Township of Leeds and the Thousand Islands

The Ombudsman found that Council of the Township of Leeds and the Thousand Islands violated the open meeting requirements when it considered and voted to approve an increase in Council remuneration behind closed doors.

Topics include:Les sujets incluent:

March 19, 2012

19 March, 2012

City of London

The Ombudsman found that London councillors did not violate the Municipal Act when they met in camera to discuss the "Occupy London" protest last November.

Topics include:Les sujets incluent:

February 22, 2012

22 February, 2012

City of Hamilton

The Ontario Ombudsman cautions City of Hamilton councillors they were on thin ice - but finds their breakfast with the Edmonton Oilers' president and local hockey coach didn't break the open meeting law.

Topics include:Les sujets incluent:

February 15, 2012

15 February, 2012

City of Clarence-Rockland

The Ontario Ombudsman reviewed several complaints alleging that improper closed meetings had occurred in Clarence-Rockland between November 2010 and June 2011.

Topics include:Les sujets incluent:

January 11, 2012

11 January, 2012

City of Hamilton

The Ombudsman found that the City of Hamilton held two improperly closed sessions on June 27, 2011, during which the dissolution of the Board of Directors of Hamilton Entertainment Convention Facilities Inc., as well as a grant request from McMaster University, were discussed.

Topics include:Les sujets incluent:

January 9, 2012

9 January, 2012

Municipality of Lambton Shores

The Ombudsman determined that a meeting arranged by municipal staff to allow community members to discuss concerns about a sewage expansion project with the consulting firm leading the project was not subject to the open meeting rules, as it did not involve the exercise of council's authority or laying the groundwork for future council decision making.

Topics include:Les sujets incluent:

January 6, 2012

6 January, 2012

Town of Amherstburg

The Ombudsman confirmed that the council for the Town of Amherstburg repeatedly contravened the Municipal Act and its own procedure by-law.

Topics include:Les sujets incluent:

December 13, 2011

13 December, 2011

Town of Larder Lake

Our Office found that the Township of Larder Lake held an emergency meeting on September 1, 2011, without following the necessary procedural requirements, including providing notice to the public and passing a resolution to proceed in camera. We also noted that the Township's procedural by-law did not provide for notice to the public of special and emergency meetings.

Topics include:Les sujets incluent:

September 29, 2011

29 September, 2011

Municipality of Grey Highlands

Our Office found that members of council of the Municipality of Grey Highlands did not contravene the open meeting provisions when they had lunch with staff from a developer of commercial wind turbines.

Topics include:Les sujets incluent:

September 19, 2011

19 September, 2011

Township of Russell

Our Office reviewed a complaint that notice of a Minor Variance Committee meeting was not provided. We found that, although notice of this particular meeting was provided, the Committee did not have its own procedure by-law. Because the Committee is a local board for the purpose of the open meeting provisions, it is required to pass its own procedure by-law, which provides for notice of meetings.

Topics include:Les sujets incluent:

August 9, 2011

9 August, 2011

Township of Howick

Our Office found that Howick Township Council contravened the open meeting requirements when it met behind closed doors to discuss changes to a proposed agreement between the Township and the local Agricultural Society.

Topics include:Les sujets incluent:

August 2, 2011

2 August, 2011

Town of South Bruce Peninsula

The Ombudsman reviewed meetings held by Council for the Town of South Bruce Peninsula between January and March 2011, and found several violations of the open meeting provisions.

Topics include:Les sujets incluent:

July 29, 2011

29 July, 2011

Township of Georgian Bay

Our Office found that Council for the Township of Georgian Bay contravened the open meeting requirements when it met with a local association representing the interests of cottagers.

Topics include:Les sujets incluent:

March 17, 2011

17 March, 2011

Town of Amherstburg

The Ombudsman found that the Town of Amherstburg improperly held a vote during an emergency closed meeting in February 2011 regarding rescinding naming rights for a local recreation complex from a convicted sex offender.

Topics include:Les sujets incluent:

February 22, 2011

22 February, 2011

City of Sault Ste. Marie

The Ombudsman found that Sault Ste. Marie’s Agenda Setting Review Committee, comprised of three council members and two municipal employees, was obligated to comply with the open meeting requirements of the Municipal Act.

Topics include:Les sujets incluent:

January 25, 2011

25 January, 2011

Town of Kearney

The Ombudsman found that two informal gatherings of newly-elected councillors for the Town of Kearney did not violate the Municipal Act, as the councillors had not yet been sworn in and there was therefore no quorum of the current council present. However, these gatherings involved discussions of future council business and were therefore inconsistent with the principles of transparency and openness underlying the open meeting requirements.

Topics include:Les sujets incluent:

January 11, 2011

11 January, 2011

Town of Mattawa

The Ombudsman determined that the Town of Mattawa’s Ad Hoc Heritage Committee held a series of improperly closed meetings.

Topics include:Les sujets incluent:

July 7, 2010

7 July, 2010

Town of South Bruce Peninsula

The Ombudsman determined that the council of the Town of South Bruce discussed a topic in closed session in September 2009 that was not properly identified in the resolution authorizing the meeting. The investigation also determined that unhealthy tensions existed at that time on council that contributed to its failure to comply with the open meetings law.

Topics include:Les sujets incluent:

May 23, 2009

23 May, 2009

Township of Baldwin

The Ombudsman found Baldwin Township council contravened the open meeting requirements of the Municipal Act in July 2008 and recommended several changes to its practices and procedure by-law.

Topics include:Les sujets incluent:

April 29, 2009

29 April, 2009

The ABCs of Education and Training

Investigation into the City of Oshawa, Development Services Committee special meeting of May 22, 2008.

Topics include:Les sujets incluent:

April 27, 2009

27 April, 2009

Pirating Our Property

Investigation into the City of Oshawa's apparent failure to co-operate.

Topics include:Les sujets incluent:

April 23, 2009

23 April, 2009

City of Oshawa

The Ombudsman found an Oshawa council committee improperly met behind closed doors in May 2008 in an “education and training” session with representatives of a recycling company that had been the subject of odour complaints. 

Topics include:Les sujets incluent:

April 3, 2009

3 April, 2009

Township of Enniskillen

The Ombudsman found that the Township of Enniskillen council considered a land acquisition in closed session, which is permitted, but the resolution authorizing the closed meeting was vague and other topics were discussed that could not legally be dealt with in a closed meeting.

Topics include:Les sujets incluent:

February 6, 2009

6 February, 2009

Township of Nipissing

The Ombudsman found that Nipissing Township council improperly held a closed meeting on April 25, 2008.

Topics include:Les sujets incluent:

January 30, 2009

30 January, 2009

Township of Emo

On April 21, 2008, my Office received a complaint about a closed meeting held by the council of the Township of Emo on April 8, 2008. The complainant alleged that after the adjournment of the regular meeting of council on that date, council held an unauthorized in-camera meeting with members of the Rainy River District Regional Abattoir Inc. (Abattoir Inc.) to discuss matters related to the abattoir project planned for the Township.

Topics include:Les sujets incluent:

April 25, 2008

25 April, 2008

City of Greater Sudbury

The Ombudsman warned Sudbury councillors that their closed-door meeting regarding the city’s Elton John concert ticket scandal was close to the legal line.

Topics include:Les sujets incluent:

February 6, 2008

6 February, 2008

Town of Fort Erie

The Ombudsman found that Fort Erie council did nothing wrong when it met behind closed doors on January 7, 2008 for an “education and training session.” However, in the interest of furthering transparency in local government, the Ombudsman recommended that council give more detail about such meetings in advance.

Topics include:Les sujets incluent: