Citizen Engagement: questions comments concerns

Closed Meetings

Closed Meetings 

Why are some meetings closed to the public?

Generally, municipal councils, local boards and their committees hold their meetings in public.  They meet behind closed doors on occasion to deal with some certain matters. For example, if a municipality is being sued or if Council must deal with a labour relations issue then it is appropriate that it be able to do so at a closed meeting. The purpose of such a closed meeting is to receive information or give direction.  Municipal governments in Ontario must be transparent and accountable.  The provincial government has set the rules for a council, local board or a committee to go into a closed meeting.  These rules are found in Section 239 of the Municipal Act, 2001.

When can a meeting be closed to the public?

A meeting or part of a meeting may be closed to the public if the subject matter is:

  • The security of the property of the municipality or local board;
  • Personal matters about an identifiable individual, including municipal or local board employees;
  • A proposed or pending acquisition or disposition of land by the municipality or local board;
  • Labour relations or employee negotiation;
  • Litigation or potential litigation, including matters before administrative tribunals, affecting the municipality or local board;
  • Advice that is subject to solicitor-client privilege, including communication necessary for that purpose;
  • A matter authorized by another provincial statue;
  • Information explicitly supplied in confidence to the municipality or local board by Canada, a province or territory or a Crown agency or any of them;
  • A trade secret or scientific, technical, commercial, financial or labour relations information, supplied in confidence to the municipality or local board, which if disclosed, could reasonably be expected to prejudice significantly the competitive position or interfere significantly with the contractual or other negotiations of a person, group f persons, or organization;
  • A trade secret or scientific, technical, commercial or financial information that belongs to the municipality or local board and has monetary value or potential monetary value;
  • A position, plan, procedure, criteria or instruction to be applied to any negotiations carried on or to be carried on by or on behalf of the municipality or local board;
  • If the subject matter relates to a request under the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act;
  • The meeting is held for educating and training and no member discusses or deals with a matter in a way that materially advances the business or decision making of the Council, local board or committee.  


What steps do I take if I have a concern?

  1. Contact the Clerk and see if they are able to answer your question or concern.
  2. If you believe that the meeting was closed to the public in a way that is not permitted by the Municipal Act, 2001 and the Township's Procedural By-law  submit a request for investigation form.


What is a meeting investigation?

As of January 1, 2008, any person or corporation can request that an investigation be undertaken respecting whether a municipality or local board, or a committee of either, has complied with closed meeting rules outlined in the Municipal Act, 2001, or the applicable procedural by-law. Complaints about Closed Meetings do not provide for access to the discussion held in the Closed Session, only if proper procedure was followed. 

Complaints may be submitted on the established complaint form. The complaint form may be printed from the website or can be obtained from the Clerk's Department. All complaints must be submitted in a sealed envelope marked "Private and Confidential". Complaints may be submitted by mail or delivered directly to:

Township of Lake of Bays

Attention: Municipal Clerk

1012 Dwight Beach Road

Dwight, ON  P0A 1H0 


Contact Information

Carrie Sykes
Director of Corporate Services/Clerk 
Telephone: (705) 635-2272 ext. 236

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