For some types of discussions or information sharing, it is important for Council to have meetings that are not open to the public. There are many examples, the most common are:
- Another party shares proprietary technical or financial information with the City, in confidence, that would harm that party’s competitive position if made public.
- Information provided to Council could jeopardize the City’s own competitive position if publicly disclosed, such as in the case of negotiations involving acquisition or disposal of an interest in land.
- Administration wishes to provide Council with advice, proposals, recommendations, analyses or policy options for addressing an issue, but has not yet reached the point of making a formal recommendation for Council debate and decision in an open meeting.
- Information is shared with Council that, if made public, could jeopardize a law enforcement matter.
- Information is shared with Council that, if made public, could reveal a person’s private, personal information.
- Council is briefed on confidential employment or labour matters.
- Council receives confidential legal advice protected by solicitor and client privilege.
Closed council meetings are a key component of good municipal governance, which is why the authority for closed meetings is set out in the Municipal Government Act. It is important to remember that although a broad range of matters may be lawfully discussed in a closed meeting, the Municipal Government Act specifically prohibits Council from making any decisions in a closed meeting. All decisions are made in meetings open to the public and are recorded in the official meeting minutes.
Last edited: September 7, 2021