Town Council demonstrates accountability and transparency

Tuesday, January 22, 2013 – for immediate release

Town Council demonstrates accountability and transparency

Oakville Council receives first annual Closed Meeting Statistics Report

Oakville Town Council received its first annual Closed Meetings Statistics Report from the Clerk’s department at Monday’s Council meeting. The report showed that Town Council spent less than six per cent of its time in closed sessions, or eight of the total of 136.2 hours that Council met in 2012. 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).

“I am very proud that Oakville is the first municipality to bring together this vital information in such a comprehensive and thorough manner,” Mayor Burton said. “Transparency and accountability are a priority for this Council and we believe every citizen has the right to know what decisions are being made and what facts guide our decisions, whenever it is possible to share them.”

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. Exceptions include litigation or 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.

Prior to proceeding into a closed meeting session, Council must pass a resolution authorizing a closed session and identifying the general nature of the matter to be considered. After the session is complete, a public report is provided or a resolution is passed regarding the confidential matter.

The Clerk’s report also noted that enhancements are being introduced to the town’s staff report procedures to provide more information to the public. Confidential items previously listed in a separate confidential report will now become confidential appendices to public reports. This will provide the public with a general overview of the matter under consideration.

“The revisions to the staff reporting procedures will further enhance transparency on the issues that Council needs to discuss in closed sessions,” said Mayor Burton. “This will strike the right balance between the need for transparency and the need to protect the interests of the municipality and the taxpayer.”

Closed meeting statistics will be provided to Council on an annual basis to ensure continued attention to transparency and accountability at the town.

Council and committee meeting dates, agendas and staff reports are available on the town’s website. Live and recorded coverage of Town Council, Planning Council and Budget committee meetings are also available. For more information visit the agendas and minutes page

Media contact

Cathie Best
Town Clerk

Gisèle Shaw 
Manager, Corporate Communications 
905-845-6601, ext. 3166

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Town Council demonstrates accountability and transparency