Tue, 01 Mar 2016
Council received its fourth annual Closed Meeting Statistics Report from the Clerk’s department at Monday night’s Council meeting and found that Council spent four per cent of its time in closed sessions in 2015. The Clerk’s report also notes that Council’s reasons for holding closed sessions met all of the requirements under the Municipal Act, 2001 (the Act).
“Transparent decision-making is the foundation of good governance,” Mayor Rob Burton said. “I am proud that Oakville was the first municipality to share this key data with the public. Town Council is devoted to minimizing closed meetings to uphold our commitment to transparency.”
All meetings of Council, committees and local boards must be open to the public, unless they meet a narrow list of exceptions set out in the Act. Some exceptions include security of the property of the municipality, personal matters about identifiable individuals, potential litigation, advice that is subject to solicitor-client privilege, a proposed or pending acquisition or disposition of land, and labour relations or employee negotiations.
Oakville Town Council aims to approve resolutions without the need for further clarification or discussion in closed sessions. In 2015, we continued our practice to issue public reports with confidential appendices where possible to support transparency. This provided the public with a general overview of the matter under consideration. There were four instances in 2015 where the public report title did not specify the subject matter in order to protect the security of the property of the municipality, maintain solicitor-client privilege or to protect the identification of an identifiable individual.
Oakville residents are encouraged to attend Council and committee meetings. Meeting dates, agendas and staff reports are available on the town’s website. Live and recorded coverage of Town Council, Planning and Development Council and Budget Committee meetings are also available.