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 Town of Huntsville has appointed the Ontario Ombudsman as the Town's Closed Meeting Investigator. Upon receipt of a Closed Meeting complaint, the Ontario Ombudsman will conduct an investigation to determine if topics discussed during Closed Session meetings of Town Council and its Committees were in violation of the Municipal Act.

When can a meeting be closed to the Public?

Section 239 of the Municipal Act, 2001, as amended states that a part of a meeting may be closed to the public under the following circumstances:

  • The security of property of the municipality or local board;
  • Personal matters about an identifiable individual, including local board employees;
  • A proposed or pending acquisition or disposition of land by the municipality or local board;
  • Labour relations or employee negotiations;
  • Litigation or potential litigation, including matters before administrative tribunals, affecting the municipality or local board;
  • Advice that is subject to solicitor-client privilege, including communications necessary for that purpose;
  • A matter in respect of which a council, board, committee or other body may hold a closed meeting under another Act.;
  • 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;
  • 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;
  • 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;
  • 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.

Do you have a concern?

  1. Contact the Clerk's Department to see if they are able to answer your question or concern.
  2. If you believe that a Town Council, Committee or Board meeting was closed to the public in a way that is not permitted by the Municipal Act, 2001, please submit a Complaint Form to request a municipal closed meeting investigation. Paper copies of the complaint form are also available at the Town Hall Customer Service desk.
  3. Complaint Form for Municipal Closed Session Investigation
  4. All complaints must be submitted in a sealed envelope marked "private and confidential" and contain the following information:
    • Name of the Municipality
    • Complainant'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
    • Original signature

All complaints shall be sealed in an envelope clearly marked "Private and Confidential" and submitted by mail or in person directly to:

Town of Huntsville
37 Main Street East
Huntsville, ON P1H 1A1
Attention: Municipal Clerk

All complaints will be treated as confidential at all times and will be forwarded directly to The Ontario Ombudsman.