Ontario Ombudsman Closed Meeting Investigation Report October 2015 – Municipality of Brighton

Posted by on Nov 1, 2015 in Commentary, Local Politics, Politics |

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Full reportOntario Ombudsman Investigation into the Municipality of Brighton’s alleged violation of the Municipal Act on May 28, 2015

Ontario_Ombudsman_Closed_Meeting_Investigation_Brighton

Ontario Ombudsman Investigation into the Municipality of Brighton

 

Summary of report content quoted directly from full report

 

Complaint:

1. On June 9, 2015, my Office received a complaint about a closed meeting held by council for the Municipality of Brighton on May 28, 2015.

2. According to the complaint, council proceeded in camera to discuss and vote on the termination of a senior municipal employee. The complaint alleged that the in camera vote was taken in violation of the Municipal Act, 2001 (the Act).

Opinion:

40. Council for the Municipality of Brighton was permitted, under the exceptions contained in the Municipal Act, 2001, to meet in closed session on May 28, 2015 to discuss the performance and compensation of various municipal employees.

41. However, council technically contravened the Act and its own procedure by-law when it voted on five resolutions in camera. While the substance of these resolutions was to direct staff, the wording of the resolution did not reflect this intent.

42. My investigation also found that council for the Municipality of Brighton violated section 239(4)(a) of the Municipal Act, 2001 by failing to state by resolution the general nature of the matters to be considered in closed session.

Recommendations:

43. I am making the following recommendations to assist council for the Municipality of Brighton to improve its practices with respect to open meetings.

Recommendation 1
All members of council of the Municipality of Brighton should be vigilant in adhering to their individual and collective obligation to ensure that council complies with its responsibilities under the Municipal Act, 2001 and its own procedure by-law.

Recommendation 2
The Municipality of Brighton should refrain from voting on matters in closed session unless the vote is for a procedural matter or for giving direction to staff.

Recommendation 3
The Municipality of Brighton should ensure that closed session resolutions intended to provide direction to staff are clearly worded as such.

Recommendation 4
The Municipality of Brighton should ensure that its resolutions to proceed in camera provide a description of the issue to be discussed, as well as the exception authorizing the discussion.

Recommendation 5
The Municipality of Brighton should ensure that its audio recorder is functioning properly for each meeting of council.

 

For future meetings, I hope that Brighton Council will carefully consider if it’s even necessary to go into closed session. The open meetings provisions in the Municipal Act. are designed to ensure transparency by maximizing information disclosure to the public.

In my opinion, Council should only go into closed session if there is a clearly identifiable detriment to residents by holding the meeting in public. Individually, Council members should challenge each closed session request based on this criteria.

If Council does decide to go into closed session, Council should follow the advice of Ombudsman’s office and “provide a description of the issue to be discussed, as well as the exception authorizing the discussion” so that “the wording of the resolution…do more than simply refer to the section of the Municipal Act that permits the closed meeting exception”.

 

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Federal Election 2015 Final Results

Posted by on Oct 23, 2015 in Commentary, Local Politics, Politics |

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Federal_Election_2015_Canada_Final_Results

Federal Election 2015 Final Results – Image Credit – CBC News

“Justin Trudeau’s Liberals won a decisive majority government, capturing 184 seats. The Conservatives, who were seeking their fourth consecutive mandate, will now form the Official Opposition. Find detailed ridings results in our map, see where each party gained and lost support and view the demographic split by party and riding. A total of 88 women were sent to House, see how the vote splits by party. And, track the Liberals surge in the polls over the course of this 78-day campaign.” Source – CBC News

Federal Election 2015 Final Results – CBC News – Canada Votes
(after searching scroll down for additional info)

 

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Get Out and Vote Today – Advance Polls open all weekend

Posted by on Oct 10, 2015 in Commentary, Local Politics, Politics |

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Check your voter information card for location details.

Saturday,  Noon – 8:00 pm
Sunday,    Noon – 8:00 pm
Monday,   Noon – 8:00 pm

Don’t forget to take your approved ID.

Take your kids to the poll and show them democracy in action! Explain to them what you are doing and why you are doing it. It is never too early (or too late) to be engaged in the democratic process.

Take a friend. Ask your neighbour if they need a ride to the polling station.

 

Voter_Card1_edited

Get Out and Vote Today – Check your voter information card for location details.

 

If you didn’t receive a voter information card, visit the Elections Canada website to find out how to register.

Elections Canada toll free – 1-800-463-6868

Don’t wait until October 19, to find out that you can’t vote!

 

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Federal Political Party 2015 Election Platforms

Posted by on Oct 9, 2015 in Commentary, Local Politics, Politics |

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The four national federal parties have published their 2015 election platforms.

Liberal Party of Canada – “A New Plan for a Strong Middle Class”

Liberal_2015-Full-Platform

“A New Plan for a Strong Middle Class”

 

Conservative Party of Canada – “Our Conservative Plan to Protect the Economy”

CPC_2015-Full-Platform

“Our Conservative Plan to Protect the Economy”

 

New Democratic Party  – “Building the Country of Our Dreams”

NDP_2015-Full-Platform

“Building the Country of Our Dreams”

 

Green Party – “Building a Canada that Works. Together.”

Green_2015-Full-Platform

“Building a Canada that Works. Together.”

 

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COGECO Behind the Ballot federal candidate debate for Northumberland Peterborough South

Posted by on Oct 3, 2015 in Commentary, Local Politics, Politics |

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Behind the Ballot Host Dave Glover moderates the federal candidates debate held in the TVCOGECO studio on September 30th. Northumberland Peterborough South Liberal candidate Kim Rudd, NDP candidate Russ Christianson and Green Party candidate Patricia Sinnot debated for two hours on the issues effecting the riding.

Conservative candidate Adam Moulton declined to participate in the debate
 

 

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Port Hope Chamber Hosts Northumberland Peterborough South All Candidates Meeting

Posted by on Sep 24, 2015 in Commentary, Local Politics, Politics |

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The Port Hope and District Chamber of Commerce hosted a Northumberland Peterborough South All-Candidates Meeting at the Cameco Capitol Arts Centre in Port Hope on Wednesday, September 23, 2015.

NDP Candidate Russ Christianson, Conservative Party Candidate Adam Moulton, Liberal Party Candidate Kim Rudd, and Green Party Candidate Patricia Sinnott were all in attendance.

Video credit: Chris Pelletier – www.northumberlandview.ca

 

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Northumberland Peterborough South Candidates Meetings in Campbellford & Brighton

Posted by on Sep 19, 2015 in Commentary, Local Politics, Politics |

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I would encourage you to watch the following videos from the two candidates meetings held in Brighton and Campbellford this week. I would also encourage you to contact the candidates directly with respect to the issues that are most important to you.

We need to elect a candidate that is not only capable, but also represents our values as individuals and our values as a community. Ask yourselves two basic questions:

1. Can they “do the job”?
2. Do they represent my values?

 

Trent Hills and District Chamber of Commerce hosting a Northumberland Peterborough South All Candidates Meeting at Campbellford District High School on Thursday, September 17, 2015

 Trent Hills All Candidates Meeting Part 1


Video credit: Chris Pelletier – www.northumberlandview.ca

 

Trent Hills All Candidates Meeting Part 2


Video credit: Chris Pelletier – www.northumberlandview.ca

 

The Greater Bay of Quinte Chapter of CARP hosted a Candidates Meeting at the King Edward Park Recreation Centre in Brighton on Thursday, September 17th, 2015


Video credit: Chris Pelletier – www.northumberlandview.ca

 

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Brighton Emergency Notification System – Self Registration

Posted by on Aug 11, 2015 in Commentary, Local Politics, Politics |

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This system sends simultaneous alerts to advise our residents of emergency situations or hazards that could affect your health and safety (e.g. major fire, hazardous materials, or shelter-in-place/evacuation notice).  Self-registration allows you to ensure that you get the call, either on a landline, cell phone or by text.

Please follow the step by step instructions provided to ensure you create a User ID and PIN correctly and enter your personal information correctly.

Participation in the Emergency Notification System is not mandatory. Your information is secure and kept confidential and can be removed from the system upon request.  For more information call 613-475-1744.

Please register with us to receive important emergency alert messages. If you are already registered, please click here to update your information or to request that your verification email is resent.


Registration Links:

Rural link (for those that live in the rural area of the Municipality)

https://www.ermsadvantage.com/register/brighton/Rural

Urban link (for those that live in the urban area of the Municipality – generally the area from Huff Road in the west to Vicari Rd and Bonn Rd in the east, and from Presqu’ile Parkway in the south to Little Lake Rd and Whites Rd in the north)

https://www.ermsadvantage.com/register/brighton/Urban

Presqu’ile link (for those that live in the park past the park gates)

https://www.ermsadvantage.com/register/brighton/Presquile

 

** For Business owners in Brighton – please ensure that you register twice (you will need two ID’s and two PIN’s), once for your residence and once for your business.  This will ensure that both your residence and business will have their civic addresses registered in case of an emergency.

 

Brighton Emergency Notification System self registration instructions

Brighton Emergency Notification System

Brighton Emergency Notification System

 

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Financial Statements for Brighton Municipal Election Candidates 2014

Posted by on Jul 17, 2015 in Commentary, Local Politics, Politics |

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Financial Statements for Brighton Municipal Election Candidates 2014

Photo Credit – Brighton Events – https://twitter.com/EventsBrighton

 

Financial Statements (income and expenses) for 2014 Election Candidates

Summary of Financial Statements for 2014 Election Candidates

Summary_Financial_Statements_for_Brighton_Municipal_Election_Candidates_2014

Financial Statements for Brighton Municipal Election Candidates – 2014

 

The Financial Statement submitted by Ms. Cassin does not indicate that her campaign surplus was paid to the Municipality of Brighton. Failure to pay the surplus would place her in default of the Municipal Elections Act. The penalty for this default would make Ms. Cassin ineligible to run in the next Municipal Election.

In addition to the reporting of income and expenses, candidates are required to complete:

  • Schedule 1 – Contributions“, which include the names and addresses of contributors that contribute more  than $100
  • Schedule 2 – Fundraising and Activities
  • Auditor’s Report“, for those candidates that received contributions, or incurred expenses in excess of $10,000

This additional information was not provided in the document that I received from Deputy Clerk Kimmett, but I have requested this information and I will add it to this post once it has been received.

 

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