Under the Municipal Act a municipality can appoint a Closed Meeting Investigator
Under Section 239 of the Municipal Act, 2001, as amended, any individual may request that an investigation be undertaken to determine whether a municipality or local board has complied with the Municipal Act or its Procedure By-law in respect of a meeting or part of a meeting that was closed to the public.
The County of Simcoe (the “municipality”) is committed to ensuring that any request for an investigation under Section 239 of the Municipal Act, 2001, as amended (the “Act”) is dealt with in a fair, open and expeditious manner.
The municipality commits to full co-operation including the provision of all information requested by the Municipal Closed Meeting Investigator (“Investigator”), either written or through interviews, to assist the Municipal Investigator in his investigations.
In accordance with Section 239.2(11) of the Municipal Act, 2001, the County of Simcoe shall ensure that any reports received from the Municipal Closed Meeting Investigator by the municipality are made available to the public.
Collingwood Council had a complaint filed in January 2016 and the Investigator came to conduct an investigation about a number of meetings that were primarily looking at the Collingwood Regional Airport.
It was concluded that there was every reason under the Municipal Act for council to go in camera to deal with these issues that dealt with property owned by the Town and negotiations about the future of the property.
Collingwood Council acted properly in holding the in camera meetings that were questioned in the complaint.
Council makes every effort to conduct its business in open session because the municipality is obligated to operate in an open and transparent fashion.
However where there are critical issues dealing with solicitor/client information or legal advice or property or a member of staff or council then the discussion has to go in camera to be dealt with properly and discreetly without negatively impacting the business of the Town.
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