ATTENTION: Due to COVID-19 safety measures, our Office also cannot accept visitors.
Please contact us online or by phone at 1-800-263-1830.
The Ombudsman reviewed a closed meeting held by council for the Township of Russell to discuss a proposed list of heritage designation properties in closed session, which relied on the personal matters exception. The report contained details about each property including the name of the building, its street address, the year the building was built, a description of the building’s heritage attributes, and a picture. For a subset of the properties, the report also contained details regarding former owners. The Ombudsman found that the discussion did not fit within the personal matters exception because the discussion was general in nature and did not include personal information like the identity of current property owners.
The Ombudsman reviewed a closed meeting held by council for the Township of Russell to discuss a proposed business plan for installing services in a local commercial and industrial area in the municipality. The meeting was closed under the personal matters exception. Council reviewed a staff report that included information about local businesses in the area including company name and legal identity, the proprietor, address, the size of the lot, and the cost of the services improvement for the property. The Ombudsman found that council’s discussion and the report did not reveal personal information about individual property owners and any individuals identified by name used the land for a business purpose. Therefore, the discussion did not fit within the personal matters exception.
The Ombudsman reviewed a closed meeting held by the Administration/Finance/Fire Committee for the Township of West Lincoln to discuss by-law enforcement. The closed meeting relied on the personal matters exception. During the discussion, the committee identified properties where fill was being dumped contrary to a site alteration by-law. The discussion did not identify any individuals by name. The Ombudsman found that the municipal locations and estimated market values of certain properties did not constitute personal information about an individual property owner.