This includes discussions about information that:
• Falls into one of the listed types: trade secret, scientific, technical, commercial, or financial information
• Belongs to the municipality or local board; and
• Has monetary value or potential monetary value
This does not include discussions where:
• The municipality or local board has no proprietary or ownership interest in the information
• There is no evidence that the municipality or local board could sell the information for money
This exception was introduced on January 1, 2018, through changes to the Municipal Act, 2001.
June 15, 202215 June 2022
The Ombudsman investigated a closed meeting held by council for the Town of Pelham on April 19, 2021, during which council discussed future management and potential development of the local airport. The Ombudsman concluded that the exception for information belonging to the municipality did not apply to council’s discussion because none of the information discussed in camera could have met the test for this exception. The Ombudsman found that council contravened the Municipal Act, 2001 when it met in closed session on April 19, 2021.
April 05, 202205 April 2022
The Ombudsman reviewed a complaint that council for the Township of Leeds and the Thousand Islands contravened the Municipal Act, 2001 when it went in camera on August 11, 2020. Council’s in camera discussion pertained to a study report and a funding application, both related to an internet broadband project.
The Ombudsman found that council’s discussion about the study report was permissible under the exception at s. 239(2)(j), information belonging to the municipality. However, council contravened the Act by discussing the funding application in closed session and by holding a vote by consensus on this matter. The discussion about the funding application had no clear monetary or potential monetary value, as required by s. 239(2)(j). Furthermore, prior to moving in camera, council failed to state in its resolution the general nature of the matter to be considered as required by s. 239(4).
June 21, 201921 June 2019
The City of Hamilton’s General Issues Committee met in closed session to discuss the municipality’s contribution to the local Canadian Football League team’s bid for the Grey Cup championship game. The committee cited the exception for information belonging to the municipality when it moved in camera. The city claimed that the information discussed was a trade secret because it included details about how the city allocates funding to large-scale events generally. The city also claimed that the information had monetary value because if the amount of the city’s contribution was disclosed, it would negatively affect the city’s competitive position for the Grey Cup bid and other large-scale events in the future. The Ombudsman found that the information was not a trade secret but qualified as financial information. The Ombudsman also found that the information belonged to the municipality. However, the Ombudsman found that the while the city may suffer economic loss if the information were disclosed, there was no indication that the information itself had any monetary value. Accordingly, the Ombudsman found that the discussion did not fit within the exception for information belonging to the municipality.