October 13, 202013 October 2020
The Ombudsman received a complaint alleging that council for the Township of Emo contravened the Municipal Act’s open meeting requirements on June 23, 2020. The complaint alleged that council’s discussion relating to a “Council Code of Conduct” matter did not fit within the exceptions to the open meeting rules in the Municipal Act, 2001
. The investigation determined that council’s discussion related to one councillor’s concern about emails that other named councillors had received from citizens of the municipality, and allegedly responded to. The names of the citizens who sent these emails and the content of the correspondence was also disclosed. The councillor discussed feelings, concerns, and opinions about identified councillors’ conduct in relation to the emails. The Ombudsman found that this discussion fit within the exception for personal matters about an identifiable individual.
June 29, 201829 June 2018
The Ombudsman reviewed a closed meeting held by council for the Town of Amherstburg relying on the personal matters exception to discuss the conduct of various identifiable individuals. The discussion included allegations that these individuals acted improperly. The Ombudsman found that the discussion fit within the personal matters exception.
May 22, 201822 May 2018
The Ombudsman reviewed closed meetings held by council for the Town of Petrolia. The Ombudsman found that the municipality was permitted to discuss unproven allegations regarding the conduct of a member of council in camera pursuant to the exception for personal matters about an identifiable individual.
January 04, 201804 January 2018
The Ombudsman reviewed a closed meeting held by council for the Township of Lanark Highlands to discuss involvement of a council member in the financial administration of the township. The meeting was closed using the personal matters exception. The Ombudsman found that generally, discussions of a council member’s actions in the course of their duties are considered to be of a professional nature. However, the in camera discussion about the council member touched upon information that was speculative and also involved scrutiny of the councillor’s conduct that went beyond their official capacity as a member of council. The Ombudsman found that the discussion fit within the personal matters exception.
February 09, 201709 February 2017
The Ombudsman reviewed a closed meeting held by council for the Municipality of Temagami to discuss an allegation that the mayor had contravened the municipality’s code of conduct. The meeting was closed under the personal matters exception. During the discussion, council considered whether enough information had been received to proceed with a code of conduct complaint against the mayor. The Ombudsman found that it was not clear whether the mayor was acting in a professional or personal capacity during the incident that gave rise to the code of conduct complaint, and council was considering an unproven allegation against the mayor. The Ombudsman found that the discussion fit within the personal matters exception.
September 08, 201408 September 2014
The Ombudsman reviewed a closed meeting held by council for the City of Elliot Lake to discuss unproven allegations against a member of council. The Ombudsman noted that information about an individual in their professional capacity takes on a more personal nature if it relates to scrutiny of that person’s conduct. In this case, council was considering unproven allegations against a council member that had not been investigated or made public at the time. This portion of the discussions fit within the personal matters exception.