Closed Meeting Complaints
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.
The Township of Essa 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 Township of Essa shall ensure that any reports received from the Municipal Closed Meeting Investigator by the municipality are made available to the public.
The Township of Essa 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 attention of the Clerk at the Township of Essa, 5786 County Road 21, Utopia ON , L0M 1T0 or by contacting the Clerk at 705-424-9770 Ext. 117.
This procedure applies to all appointed Boards and sub-committees of the municipality.
Council of the Corporation of the Township of Essa passed resolution CR207-2016 at its meeting of October 19, 2016, which supported the County of Simcoe in their appointment of Local Authority Services (LAS) to provide Closed Meeting Investigator Services for participating municipalities. The appointed Closed Meeting Investigator is authorized 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 Municipal Act or the Municipal Procedural By-law, and to report on the results of such investigations. Aird & Berlis is the Closed Meeting Investigator appointed by LAS to perform the services for Closed Meeting Investigations.
Procedures - Request for Investigation of Closed Meeting
Prior to submitting a request for investigation of a Closed Meeting, members of the public, including corporations, are encouraged to discuss their concerns or inquiries with the Township's Clerk.
Members of the public, including corporations, may submit their formal request for a Closed Meeting Investigation to the Township Clerk.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 Township’s website by visiting the Forms page, or are available by contacting the Clerk’s Department. Requests may be submitted on the Closed Meeting Investigation 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:
Township of Essa
5786 County Road 21
All complaints must contain:
- Name of the Township
- 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 to the Clerk directly, the Clerk shall:
- Ensure that the requests remain confidential;
- Assign a file number and record a file number on the envelope;
- Log the file number together with the date and time received;
- Forward, forthwith to the Municipal Investigator by regular mail.
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