An in-camera board meeting (also sometimes referred to as an executive session) is held when directors meet behind closed doors, without … meetings, with a comprehensive index for easy reference, was sought. Local Government Act, section 220 - Calling of special board meetings; Conducting Special Meetings Electronically. In specific circumstances a local government has the authority to hold a closed meeting. Municipal Act, and finally the Local Government Act in 2000.7 While the wording varied slightly over time, the original open meeting requirements remained largely unchanged until 1999. The department said remuneration for elected officials must be discussed in open public meetings. These rules are found in section 239 of the Municipal Act, 2001, as amended. To this end, the Province has set the rules for a council, local board or a committee to go into a closed meeting. Hartley R. Nathan, Q.C. 0) "In-camera" means the conduct of a meeting or part of a meeting, of Council or a committee of Council, which is closed to the public as permitted under section 239 of the Municipal Act, 2001; 2001, c. 25, s. 239 (1). Meetings Requirements for Municipal Agencies Under The Freedom of Information Act By: Kristin Sullivan, Chief Analyst October 12, 2017 | 2017-R-0232 Issue Summarize the requirements for municipal boards and commissions under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) with respect to meetings, including those for notices, agendas, vote records, The Ombudsman determined that council for Norfolk County did not contravene the Municipal Act, 2001, when it went in camera on March 26 and April 2, to discuss the hiring of … The Local Government Act and Community Charter provide local governments with the authorities needed to hold and conduct various types of meetings. 2006, c. 32, Sched. In general, municipal councils and regional district boards conduct their business during regularly scheduled meetings. Typically, it is planned ahead of time with the knowledge of the Chief Executive. 15. Local government in Ontario must be transparent and accountable. However, rather than take a permissive approach in its interpretation, Ontario's highest court adopted a restrictive reading of the closed meeting exceptions in its decision in RSJ Holdings and The Corporation of the City of London 2005 ("RSJ Holdings"), which was subsequently endorsed by the Supreme Court of Canada. (6) At least 6 months before the next scheduled election under section 5 of the Municipal Elections Act, the town council of a town where (a) the total number of councillors elected for the ... First meeting 23. • Under section 197 of the Municipal Government Act (MGA), meetings of a council or a council committee must be conducted in public, except where there is authority to hold the meetings in the absence of the public. 2001, c. 25, s. 239 (1). Closed session (in camera) meeting investigation Under the Municipal Act, 2001, as amended, a meeting can be closed to the public pursuant to Section 239. An in camera session can be a regularly scheduled event at the beginning or end of a Board meeting, it can be called by the Chairperson or by formal motion through a majority vote from the Board. Preliminary meetings with developers (at their request or council’s discretion) describing a new land use development should be held in-camera (Sec. There are 11 discretionary exceptions when members may meet in closed session (also referred to as "In-Camera"). All meetings of the city/village council will be held in compliance with state statutes, including the Open Meetings Act, 1976 PA 267 as amended, and with these rules. To this end, the Province has set the rules for a council, local board or a committee to go into a closed meeting. The amendments and regulations came as a result of advocacy by the Association of Manitoba Municipalities, seeking more comprehensive and effective processes to address … by Michael V. Coyle, JD* The spirit and intention of Nova Scotia’s Municipal Government Act (MGA) is to ensure that municipal councils and committees conduct public business in public, in open sessions where all are free to attend and see for themselves how public business is being conducted. 16). (1) Except as provided in this section, all meetings shall be open to the public. 1 MUNICIPAL GOVERNMENT ACT Chapter M-26 Table of Contents 1 Interpretation 2 Application of Act 2.1 Indian reserves Part 1 Purposes, Powers and Capacity of Municipalities Meetings are scheduled on the 2nd and 4th Monday of the month at 7:00 p.m. Send us an email and let’s talk about how we can help you. Typically, it is planned ahead of time with the knowledge of the Chief Executive. www.tml.org . “Each municipality may have policies and procedures regarding the use of in-camera meetings, but the Municipal Government Act (MGA) sets out the legislative framework that applies to … Canada, Tel: 613-238-8080 A council may close all or part of their meetings to the public (called "in camera") to discuss sensitive items such as those within Part III of The Local Authority Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act or matters concerning long-range or strategic planning. council or committee meetings, municipalities need to balance the dual objectives of open government and protection of privacy. 1. "municipal business" means a duty or function that a member of a council or council committee is required to carry out under this or any other Act or a by-law or resolution, and includes attending a meeting, conference or course of instruction that relates to municipal … There has been very little critical assessment of the merits of in camera sessions. In RSJ Holdings, the City of London, Ontario, debated the adoption of an interim control by-law concerning lands owned by RSJ Holdings in a meeting that was closed to the public. MINDEN GROSS LLP BARRISTERS & SOLICITORS 145 KING STREET WEST, SUITE 2200 TORONTO, ON, CANADA M5H 4G2 Tel 416.362.3711 Fax 416.864.9223 www.mindengross.com In Camera Directors’ Meetings . In the early 1990's, the Government of Ontario adopted 'open meeting' requirements for local government and amended the Municipal Act 2001 accordingly. That can only be done in an open, public meeting. In Camera Meetings: Should municipal councils be “In camera” shy? ]\4Õô_ hoA. K1P 6L2, "municipal business" means a duty or function that a member of a council or council committee is required to carry out under this or any other Act or a by-law or resolution, and includes attending a meeting, conference or course of instruction that relates to municipal … The handbook addresses when the Act applies, what constitutes reasonable In addition, and more importantly, a "Meeting Procedure Guide" was established to assist ... under the Municipal Act, and will faithfully perform the duties of their office and will not allow any private interest to … Toll-Free: 833-892-3331 The Art of Battling Giants: Nelligan O’Brien Payne LLP Client Awarded $11 Million Judgment Following Six-Week David and Goliath Trial, Digesting Canada’s Tough New Anti-spam Laws, Legal, Accounting and Banking News Flash – Deadline for Continuance under the NFP Act. The Pennsylvania Sunshine Act, 65 Pa.C.S. ON, These rules are found in section 239 of the Municipal Act, 2001, as amended. A council cannot make any decisions during an in camera meeting. The purpose of such a closed meeting is to receive information or give directions. Regular meetings Regular meetings of the city/village council will be held on _____ of each month beginning at _____ p.m. at the city/village office unless otherwise 16). However, beyond providing directions to staff and/or municipal solicitors, Council is not permitted to make any decisions in a closed or in camera meeting. Note: On the day subsection 4 (1) of the Not-for-Profit Corporations Act, 2010 comes into force, section 4 of the Act is repealed and the following substituted: (See: 2017, c. 20, Sched. There has been very little critical assessment of the merits of in camera sessions. In addition, there was no evidence that an informal meeting took place on April 17, 2015 following the meeting of council. It should only be done where the matter under discussion falls clearly within one of the seven exceptions in Section 239 of the Municipal Act 2001. Manitoba's enhanced municipal code of conduct legislation took effect on November 1, 2020, coming into force with the amendments to The Municipal Act and the new Council Members' Codes of Conduct Regulation. Alberta Municipal Affairs encourages municipal governments to act within the bounds and regulations of the MGA and FOIP Acts. However, municipalities must assess very carefully whether the limited exceptions to go 'in camera' apply. The Open Meeting Act Made Easy is a handbook in a question and answer format that covers the most frequently asked questions about the Texas Open Meetings Act (“the Act”). While municipalities are legally required to ensure their meetings are open to the public, there is provision in the Municipal Act 2001 for certain forums to be private. While councils can, under the Manitoba’s Municipal Act, go briefly in-camera during an open council meeting to discuss certain matters, “ A Council may only exclude the public and media from a meeting by passing a resolution to meet as a committee of the whole in a closed meeting,” according to the Municipal Act Procedures Manual. A, s. 4. With this amendment, the Province of Ontario signaled that it intended to take steps to increase the public's confidence in the integrity of local government by ensuring the open and transparent exercise of municipal power1. All meetings of the city/village council will be held in compliance with state statutes, including the Open Meetings Act, 1976 PA 267 as amended, and with these rules. Local government in Ontario must be transparent and accountable. Exceptions (2) A meeting or part of a meeting may be closed to the public if the subject matter being considered is, (a) the security of the property of the municipality or local board; An in-camera board meeting (also sometimes referred to as an executive session) is held when directors meet behind closed doors, without management or any other non-board member present. Despite the move towards increased transparency, there are still going to be situations—as one judge recently noted—where a closed meeting is necessary, such as to avoid the business of a municipal corporation being 'hindered', in the judge's words2. Council may close a meeting to consider any of the following: the security of the property of the municipality or local board; In Camera Matters A resolution is required to move into closed session to discuss property matters, and a procedural matter to approve in camera meeting minutes, as permitted by Section 239 of the Ontario Municipal Act and Council’s Procedure By-law. In specific circumstances a local government has the authority to hold a closed meeting. Updated July 2018 . Leave us your email and we will let you know once new content appears on our blog, 50 O'Connor Street, Suite 300 Where organizations have “open” meetings, it can mean closing the meeting to association or society members or clients. The Municipal Act, 2001 requires municipalities to establish a procedure by-law that provides for public notice of meetings, but the Act does not specify the notice content. Despite the basic principle contained in the Municipal Act 2001 that all meetings shall be open to the public, the City of London sought to justify its decision to close the meeting by using the 'litigation exception'. Meetings open to public 239. Body corporate. A person reading this particular exception would be forgiven for assuming that the Province intended to grant municipalities a wide authority to close meetings to the public in situations where litigation is an issue. A meeting or part of a meeting may be closed to the public if the subject matter being considered is: Where organizations have “open” meetings, it can mean closing the meeting to association or society members or clients. The decision in RSJ Holdings serves to remind municipalities that any plan to exclude the public from a meeting must be carefully considered3. That Council move into an In-Camera Meeting of Council directly following Regular session pursuant to Section 239 of the Municipal Act, 2001, as amended for the following reason: Item A - Section 239(2)(c) - A proposed or pending acquisition or disposition of land by the municipality or local board. Annual Municipal Meetings; Municipalities should heed this example and only conduct closed 'in camera' meetings when it is appropriate. In rejecting the City of London's reasoning, the Ontario Court of Appeal found that it had improperly relied on the litigation exception to close the meeting. Ottawa 2 Kalen v. Brantford (City) 2011 at paragraph 29. Closed Meetings Per the Municipal Act (Section 239), meetings of Council, committees and local boards shall be open to the public. These meetings are designed to handle sensitive issues that cannot be discussed publicly. Report on In Camera Matters The Ombudsman found that council for the City of Elliot Lake did not contravene the Municipal Act, 2001 during in-camera meetings on April 13 and April 17, 2015. This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged. Just a day before regional council held its lengthy in-camera meeting, Waterloo city Coun. Texas Municipal League . The Municipal Government Act requires that meetings of council be open to the public. Regular Council meetings are open to the general public. While municipalities are legally required to ensure their meetings are open to the public, there is provision in the Municipal Act 2001 for certain forums to be private. 3 Section 238 of the Municipal Act 2001 defines "meeting" as any regular, special or other meeting of a council, of a local board or of a committee of either of them. The purpose of such a closed meeting is to receive information or give directions. In the municipal government context, in camera means meetings where members of the public and media are not able to be present. This post has already been read 10317 times! However, municipalities must assess very carefully whether the limited exceptions to go 'in camera' apply. An in camera session can be a regularly scheduled event at the beginning or end of a Board meeting, it can be called by the Chairperson or by formal motion through a majority vote from the Board. All Rights Reserved. CLOSED MEETINGS OF COUNCIL (IN-CAMERA) What is a closed meeting? 놎øPÏþóîÝÞ£¿6Íý/Eñðð0š~›Õ7õ}9)¿|)ëÅrTN®«ESBŠâ91´°#\Qۑ‚9P#k:¡vˆqü±ø4_LËI+ÆûïÍoMÙTÅMÉÄ£'c&mk¯²¼©f óAã?ï®êÛæ+Œ(Š“òþ÷ª¾ûÚ@ª8­ÚmGRØâlRÞ-Ðâl>kŽçß㑄i Җ(R^üTN«â²žVËOÕÃçù´œýóâãe^ºj™/ÅySNê›ñìnR1^|¨ÊÛzv Ëï­@Ò The City argued that because litigation would follow from its decision to adopt the interim control by-law over the land owned by RSJ Holdings, it was therefore authorized to close the meeting to the public. In the case of RSJ Holdings it resulted in the quashing of the by-law as an appropriate remedy. Non-application (2) The Corporations Act and the Corporations Information Act do not apply to a municipality. Exceptions (2) A meeting or part of a meeting may be closed to the public if the subject matter being considered is, (a) the security of the property of the municipality or local board; Council is required by law to specify in its minutes the … Alberta Municipal Affairs encourages municipal governments to act within the bounds and regulations of the MGA and FOIP Acts. Section 239(2)(e) of the Municipal Act 2001 provides that "a meeting or part of a meeting may be closed to the public if the subject matter being considered is litigation or potential litigation, including matters before administrative tribunals affecting the municipality or local board". Closed Meeting sessions, or ‘In-Camera’ Meetings, are closed to the general public. * This 238-page, 140,000-word, 474-section document covers most of the things that govern municipal councils: powers, duties, highways, public utilities, waste management, Civil Emergency Measures Act, and may only transact business relating to the emergency. This should be set out in the municipality’s procedure by-law. The true subject matter of the meeting was the interim control by-law, not litigation. CLOSED MEETINGS OF COUNCIL (IN-CAMERA) What is a closed meeting? Nelligan Law is the name and brand under which the members of Nelligan O’Brien Payne LLP provide legal services. Annual Municipal Meetings; Among the many pieces of legislation, bylaws and policies that guide and inform municipal councils in Ontario, the Municipal Act is the most important. Although the Municipal Act 2001 provides for seven separate subject matter exceptions to the requirement that meetings be open to the public, this article will focus on the 'litigation exception' under Section 239(2)(e). However, subsection 22(2) of the Municipal GovernmentAct provides council with the authority to meet in camera to discuss a limited number of matters. Private Meetings (In-camera meetings) Occasionally, the nature of the subject may make a closed session preferable and therefore by motion a private meeting can be called to discuss the item. 8, s. 99 (1)). (1) Except as provided in this section, all meetings shall be open to the public. They stated that: • regular meetings must be open to the public; • special meetings could be closed by resolution when the council determines © 2020 Nelligan Law. Sometimes a council or board may need to call a special meeting. 1. The Court of Appeal further reasoned that the fact that there might be litigation arising from the adoption of the interim control by-law did not make the "subject matter under consideration" potential litigation. Fax: 613-238-2098General Inquiries: info@nelliganlaw.ca. Regular meetings Regular meetings of the city/village council will be held on _____ of each month beginning at _____ p.m. at the city/village office unless otherwise Preliminary meetings with developers (at their request or council’s discretion) describing a new land use development should be held in-camera (Sec. Meetings open to public 239. §§ 701-716, requires agencies to deliberate and take official action on agency business in an open and public meeting.It requires that meetings have prior notice, and that the public can attend, participate, and comment before an agency takes that official action. The Texas Open Meetings Act Made Easy . 1 RSJ at paragraph 19. 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