Meeting Investigator

Who does it apply to?

Council and local boards

Why was it developed?

The Municipal Act requires the appointment of a Meeting Investigator to investigate a complaint made by any person, that the municipality or a local board has not complied with the rules in the Municipal Act relating to meetings that are closed to the public.

What does it cover?

Under the Municipal Act, all meetings (of both Council and Standing Committees) are required to be open to the public. A meeting or part of a meeting may be closed to the public if the subject matter being considered is:

  • the security of the property of the municipality;
  • personal matters about an identifiable individual, including municipal employees;
  • a proposed or pending acquisition or disposition of land by the municipality;
  • labour relations or employee negotiations;
  • litigation or potential litigation, including matters before administrative tribunals, affecting the municipality;
  • advice that is subject to solicitor-client privilege, including communications necessary for that purpose;
  • a matter in respect of which a council may hold a closed meeting under another Act

A meeting may also be closed to the public if the following conditions are both satisfied:

  • the meeting is held for the purpose of educating or training the member
  • at the meeting, no member discusses or otherwise deals with any matter in a way that materially advances the business or decision-making of the council.

How is it enforced?

Before holding a meeting or part of a meeting that is to be closed to the public, a committee shall state by resolution the fact that a closed meeting is to be held and the general nature of the matter to be considered at the closed meeting.

Any person can request an investigation of whether a Closed Meeting of Council has complied with legislation.

Who is the Meeting Investigator?

Council has appointed the Association of Municipalities of Ontario Local Authority Services Ltd. (LAS) as the Meeting Investigator with respect to closed meetings. Local Authority Services Ltd. (LAS) was created in 1992 by the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) and is a wholly owned subsidiary company of AMO.

This is the fifth in a series of posts on Accountability.

About Karen Farbridge

An unwavering change maker seeking a just, democratic and sustainable world.

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