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Municipal 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.

Policy Statement

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.

The municipality commits to including any report received from the Investigator related to an investigation under the Act, on a public agenda and to considering such report in an open public session of Council or a Standing Committee of Council.

This policy shall be posted on the municipal website and available from the Clerk’s Department, County of Simcoe Administration Centre, 1110 Highway 26, Midhurst, ON L9X 1N6 or by contacting the Clerk’s Department at 705-726-9300 Ext. 1246 or through e-mail to john.daly@simcoe.ca

This policy applies to all appointed Boards and sub-committees of the municipality.

Background

A By-law passed by County Council authorized the appointment of LAS and Amberley Gavel Ltd. as the Municipal Closed Meeting Investigator and authorized them to conduct investigations upon receipt of a complaint in respect of meetings or part of meetings that are closed to the public to determine compliance with the Act or the Municipal Procedure By-law and to report on the results of such investigations.

Procedures - Request for Investigation

Prior to submitting a request for investigation, members of the public, including corporations, are encouraged to discuss their concerns or inquiries with the municipal clerk.

Members of the public, including corporations, may submit requests to the Investigator relating to compliance with the Act or the Municipal Procedure By-law for meetings or part of meetings that are closed to the public.

All requests will be treated confidential by the municipality and the Investigator, unless authorization is given by the requestor to release his or her identity.

Request forms may be downloaded from the municipality’s website or are available in the Clerk’s Department.

Requests may be submitted on the Request Form or otherwise in writing in a sealed envelope clearly identified as a complaint under Section 239 of the Municipal Act and forwarded by mail to:

The Clerk, 
County of Simcoe
Administration Centre
1110 Highway 26
Midhurst, ON L9X 1N6

or to

Amberley Gavel Ltd.
35 Ambleside Drive,
London ON, N6G 4M3
1-866-535-8079

All complaints must contain:

  • Name of municipality
  • Requestor’s name, mailing address, telephone number and e-mail address (if applicable)
  • Date of closed meeting under consideration
  • Nature and background of the particular occurrence
  • Any activities undertaken (if any) to resolve the concern
  • Any other relevant information
  • Direction with respect to release of identity
  • Original signature

When requests are submitted directly to the Clerk, the Clerk shall follow the following procedures:

  1. Ensure that the requests remain confidential;
  2. Assign a file number and record a file number on the envelope;
  3. Log the file number together with the date and time received;
  4. Forward, forthwith to the Municipal Investigator by regular mail.

For all requests the municipality shall supply forthwith to the investigator the following or any other information or documentation as requested by the Investigator related to a complaint:

  • Certified copy of Notice of Meeting
  • Certified copy of the agenda
  • Certified copy of the Minutes of meeting
  • Relevant resolutions
  • Municipal contact list
  • other

 

Timeframe:

The Investigator will commence his investigation within two weeks of receipt of a request.