Closed Meeting Complaints Procedure

We are committed to being open, accountable and transparent. This commitment is consistent with provincial efforts to make municipal government understandable and approachable for citizens.

Closed meeting

The province of Ontario, through the Municipal Act, 2001, defines when a council, local board or a committee is permitted to go into a closed meeting. Closed meetings are part of good government when these rules are honoured. The purpose of a closed meeting is for Council to receive information or give direction to staff on the following specific topics:

  1. The security of the property of the municipality or local board;
  2. Personal matters about an identifiable individual, including municipal or local board employees;
  3. A proposed or pending acquisition or disposition of land by the municipality or local board;
  4. Labour relations or employee negotiations;
  5. Litigation or potential litigation, including matters before administrative tribunals, affecting the municipality or local board;
  6. Advice that is subject to solicitor-client privilege, including communications necessary for that purpose;
  7. A matter in respect of which a council, board, committee or other body may hold a closed meeting under another act;
  8. The meeting is held for the purposed of educating or training the members and at the meeting, no member discusses or otherwise deals with any matter in a way that materially advances the business or decision-making of the council, local board or committee.
  9. Information explicitly supplied in confidence to the municipality or local board by Canada, a province or territory or a Crown agency of any of them;
  10. 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 of persons, or organization;
  11. 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; and
  12. 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.

As well, a meeting shall be closed to the public if the subject matter relates to the consideration of a request under the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act if the Council is the head of the institution for the purposes of the Act.

Investigations of closed meetings

Members of the public, including corporations, may request that an investigation be undertaken respecting whether the Council of the County of Frontenac or one of its local boards or committees has complied with closed meeting rules as outlined in the Municipal Act, 2001, as amended, or the County's procedural by-law during the closed part of a meeting.

The County of Frontenac, through Local Authority Services Ltd. (LAS) has retained the services of Amberley Gavel Ltd., as its Closed Meeting Investigator and has authorized it to conduct any investigations arising from a complaint with respect to meetings or parts of meetings that are closed to the public. The Closed Meeting Investigator will determine compliance with the Municipal Act and/or the County of Frontenac Procedural By-law and will report on the results of such investigations. The Act provides that, when the investigation is completed, if the Investigator is of the opinion that the meeting was closed to the public contrary to the Act or the procedure by-law, such opinion shall be reported, with or without recommendations, to County Council. Council shall ensure that any such report is made available to the public.

This applies to the County Council and it's Advisory Committees (150th Anniversary Planning Advisory Committee, Trails Advisory Committee, Sustainability Advisory Committee, the Joint Frontenac Accessibility Advisory Committee, the Seniors Housing Task Force and others as they are established).

Complaints procedure

Complaints should be submitted on the established complaint form or via written request. The complaint form may be printed from the website or can be obtained from the Clerk's Office. All complaints must contain the following information:

  1. Name of municipality;
  2. Complainant's name, mailing address, telephone number and e-mail address (if applicable);
  3. Date of closed meeting under consideration;
  4. Nature and background of the particular occurrence;
  5. Any activities undertaken (if any) to resolve the concern;
  6. Any other relevant information; and
  7. Original signature.

Submit complaints in a sealed envelope marked “Private and Confidential” and clearly identified as a complaint under Section 239 of the Municipal Act, by mail to:

County of Frontenac
2069 Battersea Road
Glenburnie, Ontario
K0H 1S0

Attention: County Clerk

For more information on this topic, please submit comments or inquiries to Jannette Amini, Manager of Legislative Services/Clerk.