Third closed meeting investigator’s report on county council agenda

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BRUCE COUNTY – Among the items on the agenda for the Jan. 14 meeting of Bruce County Council is a closed meeting investigator’s report dated Dec. 31, 2020.

According to the staff report in the posted agenda, executive committee members were advised on Oct. 1, 2020 that a closed meeting complaint had been received and forwarded to the county’s closed meeting investigator, Aird & Berlis. The complaint was about executive committee closed meetings held on Sept. 8, 2016; March 2, 2017; April 6, 2017; May 4, 2017; Sept. 7, 2017; and Nov. 2, 2017.

The county received a response to the investigation on Dec. 31, 2020. Cost of the investigation is $9,830.44.

The investigation concluded that the committee contravened the Municipal Act 2001, the procedure bylaw and the closed meeting procedures regarding the meetings set out in the complaint.

The investigator made specific note that the committee was not permitted to proceed in camera on the six occasions listed, did not provide a sufficient post-closed meeting report on four of those occasions, and conducted an improper vote at the Nov. 2, 2017 meeting.

This is the third recent closed meeting investigation. The investigator stated in her recommendations that the county has “made changes in its policies, practices and procedures and has taken other steps to enhance accountability and transparency as a result. …”

Pauline Kerr, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Walkerton Herald Times