London council cleared by Ombudsman after closed door meetings

The province's ombudsman has ruled in favour of London city council following complaints received by the public regarding improper closed door meetings.

The first complaint was about an in camera meeting on May 17, 2016 to discuss the appointment of an integrity commissioner. The complaint alleged that the discussions did not fit within any of the exceptions to the open meeting requirements, and that the hiring of the integrity commissioner should have been discussed publicly.

The complaint in relation to the June 23, 2016 meeting surrounded discussions about a report of the city’s Integrity Commissioner. The complainant noted that the city had released the report to the public two days prior, and claimed a public document should not have been discussed in a closed session.

On Friday, Paul Dube released his report about two meetings in the Spring of 2016.

He concluded:

My investigation found that the discussions that took place in camera at the May 17, 2016 Committee of the Whole meeting were permitted to be closed to the public under the personal matters and solicitor-client privilege exceptions of the Municipal Act, 2001. The in camera discussions held at the June 23, 2016 council meeting were permitted to be closed to the public under the solicitor-client privilege exception.

Dube's staff reviewed the agenda and minutes for the meetings in question, as well as staff reports and the Integrity Commissioner’s report.