Grimsby councillor wants to tighten up closed session meetings

One councillor in Grimsby is worried about sensitive information getting out.

Ward 2 Coun. Don Howe introduced a motion at the Sept. 18 meeting to have town staff look into options for increased security in closed sessions.

In an interview with Niagara this Week, Howe said his concern is mainly with cellphones and laptops, and how easily they can be left on.

“Back in the nineties, we didn't have cellphones and laptops,” he said. “There wasn't all these ways that messages could be grabbed …(these devices) can be transmitters as well as receivers.”

Howe said there’s nothing “sinister” about his motion, and no incident happened to push it forward.

“I see the laptops all up and open, and we're having meetings, and I’m just not used to it,” he said. “If that's the way of the world today is like, in closed meetings, fine. I don't think it is.”

Additionally, Howe said he wonders if council chambers could be further secured, as the room itself is entirely glass.

“Maybe it's not an issue, but do we have the best practices,” he said.

At the council meeting, Coun. Lianne Vardy pointed to her lips, using them as an example the biggest threat to closed information being disclosed.

“I think we should zip it,” she said. “That should be the first order of business, is just reminding people that closed sessions are not to be discussed. I'm fine with looking at best practices. I think we just need to remind ourselves about not sharing closed information.”

Howe’s motion was passed unanimously.

Abby Green, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Grimsby Lincoln News