May 12, 202112 May 2021
The Ombudsman reviewed an electronic meeting held by the City of Greater Sudbury. Council met in closed session prior to the regular meeting. Council’s resolution stating the general nature of the subjects to be discussed in camera was not broadcast live. The Ombudsman found that this contravened the requirements of section 239(4)(a) of the Act. The Ombudsman recommended that the City ensure that the public is able to observe all open portions of electronic meetings including the resolution to go in camera.
April 22, 202122 April 2021
The Ombudsman reviewed an electronic meeting held by the LGBTQ advisory committee for the City of Hamilton. The Ombudsman found that during the open portion of the meeting, the public livestream was unavailable due to technical issues. Accordingly, the Ombudsman found that while the livestream was down, the public was excluded from the meeting and the meeting was illegally closed.
March 31, 202131 March 2021
The Ombudsman reviewed several electronic meetings held by the City of Richmond Hill where council’s resolution to go in camera
was not broadcast live. The Ombudsman found that this contravened the requirements of section 239(4)(a) of the Act. The Ombudsman recommended that the City ensure that the public is able to observe all open portions of electronic meetings including the resolution to go in camera
and any business conducted after rising from closed session. This recommendation includes meetings where the only item on the agenda is an in camera
matter. The Ombudsman also recommended that the City ensure that information on how to access the live broadcast of an electronic meeting is provided in all meeting notices.
March 12, 202112 March 2021
The Ombudsman received a complaint regarding two meetings held by council for the Village of Westport on September 15, 2020. The complaint alleged that due to a technical issue, council did not livestream the virtual committee of the whole or special council meeting for the public. The complaint alleged that, as a result, these meetings were closed to the public contrary to the Municipal Act, 2001.
The Ombudsman confirmed that the public was excluded from these meetings due to technical issues and that as a result, they were improperly closed to the public.
January 05, 202105 January 2021
The Ombudsman investigated the meeting practices of the Greater Napanee BIA, who had been holding electronic meetings in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Ombudsman’s investigation found no evidence that the BIA had amended its procedure by-law to allow electronic participants to count for quorum. The Ombudsman urged the Greater Napanee BIA to ensure that its meetings are in compliance with the Municipal Act
’s quorum requirements.
April 17, 202017 April 2020
The Ombudsman reviewed a special meeting held by council for the Township of Russell via electronic participation. Members were permitted to participate electronically and be counted toward quorum as a state of emergency had been declared pursuant to the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act. The Ombudsman commended the Township for taking steps to ensure members of the public were advised of how to observe the live broadcast of the meeting and urged all municipalities to ensure electronic meetings are accessible to the public.