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Skip Navigation LinksSimcoe County > Government > Oversight and Appeals

Oversight and Appeals

​​​​​​The County of Simcoe engages several oversight bodies that may independently review actions or decisions, they are:

Ontario Ombudsman

The County of Simcoe is an open, transparent and responsive upper-tier municipal government. Where a resident, business or property owner has a concern, they are encouraged to call Service Simcoe Contac​​t Centre at 705-735-6901 (Toll free - 1-800-263-3199) Hearing and Voice Carry Over (HCO & VCO) Bell Relay Service: 1-800-855-0511 to ask questions, report matters, and discuss resolutions.

Where the Service Simcoe Contact Centre is unable to answer the question or resolve a concern, the caller will be referred to the most appropriate department Manager to review matters and discuss resolutions. The Manager may escalate the reported matter to the most appropriate senior staff, such as Director, General Manager, Chief Administrative Officer or the Warden.

Where the County is unable to adequately addre​ss reported matters, the resident, business or property owners may contact the Provincial Ombudsman of Ontario at 1 800-263-1830 to review and discuss the reported matter and the reporting process above.

Municipal Clo​​sed 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 No. 6703 in respect of a meeting or part of a meeting that was closed to the public.

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.

Questions can be directed to 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 procedure applies to all appointed Boards and sub-committees of the municipality.

Background

A resolution passed by County Council authorized the appointment of LAS and their delegated investigator Aird and Berlis LLP. 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

John Mascarin
Aird & Berlis, LLP
Brookfield Place
181 Bay St, Suite 1800
Toronto, ON M5J 2T9

Phone: 416-865-7721
Email: jmascarin@airdberlis.com

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

Investigator Program - Request Process​ 

Timeframe:

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

Integrity Commissioner

​An Integrity Commissioner is an independent resource who reports to council and who is responsible for performing in an independent manner the functions assigned by the municipality with respect to:

1. The application of the code of conduct for members of council and members of local boards.
2. The application of any procedures, rules and policies of the municipality and local boards governing the ethical behaviour of members of council and of local boards.
3. The application of sections 5, 5.1 and 5.2 of the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act to members of council and of local boards.
4. Requests from members of council and of local boards for advice respecting their obligations under the code of conduct applicable to the member.
5. Requests from members of council and of local boards for advice respecting their obligations under a procedure, rule or policy of the municipality or of the local board, as the case may be, governing the ethical behaviour of members.
6. Requests from members of council and of local boards for advice respecting their obligations under the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act.
7. The provision of educational information to members of council, members of local boards, the municipality and the public about the municipality's codes of conduct for members of council and members of local boards and about the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act.

Effective January 1, 2018, the County of Simcoe has appointed Principles Integrity to deliver the above services. The Integrity Commissioner can be contacted at:

Principles Integrity
30 Haddon Street, Toronto, ON M5M 3M9
Attention: Jeffrey A. Abrams and Janice Atwood-Petkovski
Tel No.: 647-259-8697
Email: postoffice@principlesintegrity.org

Reference Document:

Information and Privacy Commisssioner, Access to Information

​The Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (MFIPPA) provides the right of the public to access municipal records, subject to certain limitations and exemptions.  It also provides the right to access one’s own personal information and to correct it.  The Act further requires municipalities to protect personal information by controlling the collection, use, disclosure, and disposal of information.​ To learn more, visit ​our Municipal Freedrom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act webpage​.