In general, Council and Committee meetings are open to the public. We encourage everyone to attend these meetings when possible, to watch or participate electronically or to watch the archived video.

In some instances, the Municipal Act, 2001 allows the Municipality to hold a Closed Meeting when the subject matter relates to certain specific topics. For these meetings, the public are not allowed to attend and they are not broadcast. The purpose of these meetings is often to get information or give direction to municipal staff or legal counsel.

 Reasons for closed meetings

The permitted reasons for holding a closed meeting are:

 

  • The security of property of the municipality or local board
  • Personal matters about an identifiable individual, including employees
  • A proposed or pending acquisition or disposition of land
  • Labour relations or employee negotiations
  • Litigation or potential litigation
  • Advice that is subject to solicitor-client privilege
  • A matter authorized by another provincial statute
  • An on-going investigation by the Ombudsman
  • Education and training if no member discusses or deals with a matter in a way that material advances the business decision-making of the Council or local board
  • Information given to the Municipality in confidence by Canada, a province or territory, or a Crown agency
  • A trade secret or scientific, technical, commercial, financial or labour relations information given in confidence to the municipality, which could interfere with the competitive position or contractual or other negotiations of the organization.
  • A trade secret or scientific, technical, commercial or financial information that belongs to the municipality and has monetary value
  • A position, plan, procedure, criteria or instruction to be applied to any negotiations

 Procedure

 
The Municipality can only hold closed meetings as per the rules set out in the Municipal Act, 2001. We must give notice of a closed meeting, including an outline of the business that will be discussed and the grounds under which a closed meeting is permitted.

Once a closed meeting session is over, the Council or committee must return to open session and report on the discussions that took place in the closed meeting.

In a closed meeting, Council may only discuss the specific matter outlined in the notice of meeting. If you have questions about the Municipal Act or reasons to have a closed meeting, please email Director of Corporate Services/Clerk.

 Request for investigation 

 
If you believe that the Municipality held a closed meeting for a reason that is in contravention of the Municipal Act, you can request an investigation. All requests will be forwarded to the Closed Meetings Investigator. There is no fee required for submitting a request.

In Ontario, municipalities are required to appoint an investigator specifically to look at complaints about closed meetings. The Municipality of Port Hope has appointed Local Authority Services (LAS) to perform Closed Meeting Investigations. LAS currently delegates its authority as Investigator to Aird Berlis. This company provides a panel of Review Officers who will conduct investigations on LAS’ behalf. The contact information for Aird Berlis is below. 

Aird Berlis LLP 
Brookfield Place, 181 Bay Street, Suite 1800
Toronto, Ontario M5J 2T9

To submit a Request for Investigation of a Closed Meeting form: 

Complete and submit the online form; or pick up a hard copy of the form at Townhall, 56 Queen St. Port Hope and submit it either to the Corporate Services Department in person via mailbox at our front doors or by email. Completed forms may also be sent by mail to:

Clerk
The Municipality of Port Hope
56 Queen St. 
Port Hope, ON L1A 3Z9