Generally, the City and its local boards are required by law to give notice and hold all meetings in public.
The City takes a number of steps to ensure the highest degree of openness and transparency for meetings of Council and committees:
Sometimes it is necessary to close a meeting to the public so Council or a committee can consider confidential information as permitted by law.
Under the City of Toronto Act, 2006, a meeting can only be closed if the subject of debate falls under one of several exceptions to the open meeting rules.
The City must close a meeting to consider an access to information request. The City may close a meeting to consider any of the following:
No votes can be taken in closed session, except for votes on procedure and votes to give confidential instructions to staff, local boards or agents.
Under the City’s procedures, even if a closed session is required to consider a matter, the meeting must begin and end in public. Before closing a meeting, the committee or Council will adopt a motion to close the meeting setting out the nature of the subject to be discussed and the statutory reason for closing the session.
The City, its local boards, and committees of both are required to follow the open and closed meeting provisions of the City of Toronto Act, 2006, as well as the closed meeting rules set out in the Council Procedures (or the local board procedures if they have their own).
If you believe a meeting of City Council, a local board to which the Act applies, or a committee of either, has been improperly closed, you may request that the City review the circumstances by appointing an independent investigator.
If you believe a meeting of City Council, an applicable local board, or a committee of either has been improperly closed to the public, you may request an investigation into the matter.
The City is currently taking steps to retain a closed meeting investigator. In the interim, the Provincial Ombudsman will investigate complaints.
To make a complaint directly to the Provincial Ombudsman.
Additional resource materials, please see Open Meetings – Guide For Municipalities.
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If the investigator finds that a meeting has been closed improperly, the investigator will report that finding to Council or the local board, and make recommendations for the future.
Please note: The investigation provisions do not apply to: