Closed Meeting Checklist

This Checklist is intended to assist members of Council, local boards and their committees and staff indetermining when it is permitted to hold a closed meeting and the procedures to follow when doing so.

The requirements respecting closed meetings are found in section 239 of the Municipal Act, 2001, as amended. Each member should familiarize himself/herself with these sections. It is recommended that members bring this checklist to every meeting.

  • A motion must be presented and passed at a public meeting indicating that a closed meeting is to be held. The motion must also indicate the general nature of the matter(s) to be deliberated. This motion must be passed before the closed meeting takes place.
  • A closed meeting is any meeting at which the council, local board or committee excludes any member of the public.
  • The municipal clerk, deputy clerk or duly appointed acting clerk must be present at all meetings of council, public or closed.
  • Ensure that the reason(s) for the closed meeting are permitted. The only reasons permitted to hold a closed meeting are as follows:
    • a) the security of the property of the municipality or local board;
    • b) personal matters about an identifiable individual, including municipal or local board employees;v
    • c) a proposed or pending acquisition or disposition of land by the municipality or local board;
    • d) labour relations or employee negotiations;
    • e) litigation or potential litigation, including matters before administrative tribunals, affecting the municipality or local board;
    • f) advice that is subject to solicitor-client privilege, including communications necessary for that purpose;
    • g) a matter in respect of which a council, board, committee or other body may hold a closed meeting under another Act;
    • h) information explicitly supplied in confidence to the municipality or local board by Canada, a province or territory or a Crown agency of any of them;
    • i) a trade secret or scientific, technical, commercial, financial or labour relations information, supplied in confidence to the municipality or local board, which, if disclosed, could reasonably be expected to prejudice significantly the competitive position or interfere significantly with the contractual or other negotiations of a person, group of persons, or organization;
    • j) a trade secret or scientific, technical, commercial or financial information that belongs to the municipality or local board and has monetary value or potential monetary value; or
    • k) 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 municipality or local board. A member shall not discuss nor deliberate on any subject that is not included on the permitted list nor any not included in the authorizing resolution.
  • Minutes must be taken without note or comment. These minutes must be taken by the Clerk, the deputy Clerk or acting Clerk, at a meeting of council. The minutes will be taken by the Clerk, deputy or acting Clerk, or by an appointed secretary in the case of a committee or local board.
    • No votes shall be taken at a closed meeting, except:
    • For procedural matters,
    • For giving directions or instructions to staff, agents or persons retained by the municipality or local board, or
    • If authorized by another statute.
  • After the closed meeting, the chair of the closed meeting should publicly report the results of the closed meeting to the extent appropriate, particularly if there is no vote held on the subject matter discussed in the closed meeting, directly following the closed meeting.

Questions relating to closed meeting procedures should be directed to the municipal Clerk, particularly for relevant matters that may be addressed in the Municipality’s Procedure By‐Law.