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The Ombudsman received a complaint about a series of individual phone calls between members of council of Loyalist Township concerning a grant policy that would be discussed before the Committee of the Whole. Communication between members of council of an informational nature that does not lead to specific outcomes or persuades decision-makers is usually not a “meeting” under the Municipal Act, 2001 because it does not materially advance business or decision-making.
The Ombudsman received a complaint about the amount of information that council for the Loyalist Township shared in its report back following the closed session discussion on July 8, 2019. The Ombudsman found the council’s report back provided the public with information about the outcome of council’s discussion.
The Ombudsman received a complaint alleging that council for Loyalist Township contravened the Municipal Act’s closed meeting voting rules on July 8, 2019. The Ombudsman found that due to confusion and inadvertence, council’s in camera vote was neither procedural nor a direction to staff contrary to the Act’s voting requirements.
The Ombudsman received a complaint alleging that council for Loyalist Township contravened the Municipal Act’s open meeting requirements on July 8, 2019 when it went in camera to discuss a draft legal agreement with a wind energy provider. A lawyer was present and provided legal advice related to the agreement during the closed session. The Ombudsman’s investigation found that council’s discussion was permissible under the Municipal Act’s closed meeting exception for advice subject to solicitor-client privilege in s. 239(2)(f).