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.
May 09, 201309 May 2013
The Ombudsman reviewed a closed meeting held by council for the Town of Fort Erie that relied on the personal matters exception to discuss an alleged breach of the municipality’s code of conduct by the mayor. Council’s discussion related to public comments made by the mayor. The Ombudsman found that the mayor’s comments were made in the course of his official duties and in relation to municipal business. Council’s discussions did not pertain to the mayor in his personal capacity, but rather involved the mayor’s professional capacity. Therefore, the discussion did not fit within the personal matters exception.
September 07, 201207 September 2012
The Ombudsman reviewed a closed meeting held by council for the United Townships of Head, Clara and Maria to discuss a code of conduct complaint made by a member of the public against a member of council. The meeting was closed under the litigation or potential litigation exception. The Ombudsman found that there was no evidence of any current or future legal proceeding related to the code of conduct complaint. Mere speculation that litigation may arise is not sufficient to bring the matter within the litigation or potential litigation exception.