Ontario’s ombudsman is taking Hamilton to task for refusing to record closed-door meetings in an effort to improve transparency.
Andre Marin highlights city council’s decision in his second annual report dealing with the province’s open-meeting laws. Marin describes the decision as 1% law and 99% politics.
He argues that council rejected the idea, citing concerns that councillors could be sued for statements made behind closed doors.
Marin adds that they are legally protected from claims of libel, if their comments are made in good faith.
Over a recent period of about 13 months the ombudsman’s office received four complaints about illegal meetings and procedural violations in Hamilton. One was investigated, involving a consulting contract with Dialogue Partners, clearing city councillors of any wrongdoing.