In order to provide an independent review of Waterfront Toronto’s Board and Board Committee’s open meeting performance, Waterfront Toronto has appointed an Investigator to conduct investigations if there is a complaint about a closed meeting.
These rules are found in Section 190 of the City of Toronto Act and are included with Waterfront Toronto’s By-Law No 2.
Why are some meetings closed to the public?
Generally Waterfront Toronto is required by law to give notice and hold all meetings of the Board of Directors in public. Waterfront Toronto takes a number of steps to ensure the highest degree of openness and transparency for meetings of the Board and Board Committees.
The law that directs Waterfront Toronto’s open meeting policy is the Toronto Waterfront Revitalization Corporation Act, 2002. It states Waterfront Toronto is subject to the open meeting law requirements in the City of Toronto Act, 2006, that outline when the Board can go into a closed meeting. The rules that have been adopted for both the Board and Board Committee meetings are included in Waterfront Toronto’s By-Law No 2.
In order to provide an independent review of Waterfront Toronto’s Board and Board Committee’s open meeting performance, Waterfront Toronto has appointed an Investigator that can conduct investigations if there is a complaint about a closed meeting. Through Local Authority Services (“LAS”) Waterfront Toronto has engaged the services of Amberley Gavel Ltd. as the Investigator, and they have been appointed to conduct investigations of complaints regarding meetings or parts of meetings that are closed to the public.
When can a meeting be closed to the public?
Sometimes it is necessary to close a meeting to the public so the Board or Board Committee can consider confidential information, as permitted by law. Under Section 6(1) of Waterfront Toronto’s By-Law No 2, a meeting can only be closed if the subject of debate falls under one of several exceptions to the open meeting rules. That is, a meeting or part of a meeting may be closed to the public if the subject matter involves any of the following:
(a) The security of the property of the Corporation;
(b) Personal matters about an identifiable individual, including employees of the Corporation;
(c) A proposed or pending acquisition or disposition of land or capital assets;
(d) Labour relations or employee negotiations;
(e) Litigation or potential litigation, including matters before administrative tribunals, affecting the Corporation;
(f) Advice that is subject to solicitor-client privilege, including communications necessary for that purpose;
(g) Educating or training of Board of Directors or Committee members if, at the Meeting, no member discusses or otherwise deals with any matter in a way that materially advances the business or decision-making of the Board of Directors or Committee;
(h) Any matter in respect of which the Board of Directors or Committee is authorized under legislation to conduct a Meeting or a portion of a Meeting on a closed basis;
(i) Information explicitly supplied in confidence to the Corporation by Canada, a province or territory or a Crown agency of any of them;
(j) A trade secret or scientific, technical, commercial, financial or labour relations information, supplied in confidence to the Corporation, which, if disclosed, could reasonably be expected to prejudice the competitive position of the Corporation or interfere with the contractual or other negotiations of a person, group of persons, or organization;
(k) A trade secret or scientific, technical, commercial or financial information that belongs or otherwise relates, to the Corporation, including information relating to forecasts, and draft plans, reports, strategies and forecasts of the Corporation which, if disclosed, could reasonably be expected to prejudice the interests of the Corporation or, in the case of draft plans, reports, strategies and forecasts, has not yet been approved by the Board of Directors;
(l) A position, plan, procedure, criteria or instruction to be applied to any negotiations carried on or to be carried on by or on behalf of the Corporation; or
(m) The consideration of whether any subject matter involves a matter referred to in clauses 6.1(a) to 6.1(l) and whether to exclude the Public from the discussion of such matters.
Also, a Meeting or part of a Meeting shall be closed to the Public where the subject matter being addressed involves any of the following:
(a) A request under the Corporation's Freedom of Information Policy, or under any applicable freedom of information legislation that may apply to the Corporation or the Board of Directors; or
(b) An ongoing investigation respecting the Corporation, including an investigation pursuant to section 6.7.
What steps do I take if I have a concern about a closed Board or Board Committee meeting?
Contact the General Counsel and see if they are able to answer your question or concern
If the General Counsel is unable to resolve your concern and you believe that the meeting was closed to the public in a way that is not permitted by law, you may request the Investigator to consider your concern. To do this, submit a written request using the complaint form for a closed meeting investigation. When the request is received it will be forwarded to the Investigator by the General Counsel along with supporting documentation relating to the meeting.
What is a Meeting Investigation?
Any person or corporation will be able to request an investigation on whether the Board of Directors or a Board Committee has complied with closed meeting rules outlined in the Corporation’s By-Law No 2.
The investigator will determine compliance with Waterfront Toronto’s By-Law No 2 with respect to closed meetings and will report on the results of such investigations to the Board or Board Committee, as appropriate, and may make them public. During the investigation, the investigator may contact the complainant for further information.
How do I request an investigation?
The complaint form can be obtained by clicking here. The form must be completed, signed and submitted in writing, in a sealed envelope marked “Private and Confidential” to:
20 Bay Street, Suite 1310
Toronto, ON M5J 2N8
ATTENTION: General Counsel
Be sure to sign your request. Waterfront Toronto cannot accept anonymous or unsigned requests. All complaints will be treated as confidential at all times and will be forwarded directly to Amberley Gavel Ltd.
Closed Meeting Investigation Reports
Links to any available reports will be posted here.