Closed Meetings

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Section 239 of the Municipal Act, 2001, establishes rules to ensure the transparency and accountability of municipal councils, local boards and their committees. Meetings are general open to the public. However, there may be circumstances which require a meeting, or part of a meeting, to be held in closed session.

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.  

Steps to take if you have a concern related to a closed meeting

  1. Contact the Clerk to answer your question or concern
  2. If you believe the meeting was closed to the public in a way not permitted by the Municipal Act, 2001 and the Township's Procedural By-law, you can 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 can be submitted using the complaint form.  The form may be printed from the website or 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 in person to:

Township of Lake of Bays
Attention: Municipal Clerk
1012 Dwight Beach Road, Dwight, ON P0A 1H0

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