Ombudsman Ontario

Ombudsman Ontario

March 26, 2008 16:23 ET

Ombudsman to Investigate Complaint of Closed-Door Meeting in Sudbury

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 26, 2008) -

Attention news editors

Ontario Ombudsman Andre Marin today served notice to the City of Greater Sudbury that he is investigating a complaint about a closed meeting. The complaint concerns allegations that city councillors met inappropriately behind closed doors to discuss matters related to the recent Elton John concert in the city.

Details of the investigation, including the complainant's identity, remain confidential.

"The issue of Sudbury councillors receiving tickets to that concert has been of great public interest," Mr. Marin said. "This complaint involves allegations about a lack of transparency that we are taking very seriously."

Under changes to the Municipal Act that came into effect on Jan. 1, 2008, all meetings of municipal councils and committees must be open to the public, with a few narrow exceptions. The Ombudsman investigates complaints about closed meetings in municipalities that have chosen to use his services - as Sudbury has - and in all Ontario municipalities that have not appointed their own investigators.

This will be the Ombudsman's second investigation under the new law. The first, involving a meeting in Fort Erie which turned out to be in compliance with the Act, was completed in two weeks. The Ombudsman's report on that investigation, and much more information about the open-meetings legislation, is available online at www.ombudsman.on.ca.

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