Regional Council, Fort Erie singled out in Ombudsman report on secret meetings
A government watchdog says some municipal councils in Ontario, including Niagara, are still violating the so-called Sunshine Law by holding closed-door meetings and taking votes in secret.
Ombudsman Andre Marin says the majority of municipal councils follow the rules on open meetings, but some are "shockingly secretive, suspicious and resentful of the very idea they can be investigated.''
While the offenses aren't so egregious here in Niagara, Marin did single out the Niagara Regional Council for failing to post its agendas on its website prior to its meetings.
Marin also says both Council and the Corporate Service Committee could be more transparent in their decision making and in terms of reporting back publicly what happend during closed meetings.
Also singled out is the Town of Fort Erie for twice violating the open meeting requirements of the Municipal Act at two meetings involving the Economic Development and Tourism Council.
Marin also suggested the Town could afford to be a little more transparent for the sake of "furthering transparency in local government"
The Ombudsman wants all municipal councils to keep audio or video recordings of their meetings, including the private ones, to make sure they follow the rules.