Sometimes, Town Councils, boards or committees must attend meetings that are closed to the public. The purpose of these Closed Meetings are for members to receive information or give direction on topics defined by the Province of Ontario's Municipal Act, 2001. These rules ensure that all local governments in Ontario are transparent and accountable.

Reasons for Closed Meetings

Closed Meetings are held when the following topics are discussed:

  • The security of the municipality or local Board;
  • Personal matters about an identifiable individual, including employees;
  • A proposed or pending acquisition or disposition of land;
  • Labour relations or employee negotiations;
  • Litigation or potential litigation;
  • Advice that is subject to solicitor-client privilege;
  • A matter authorized by another provincial statute;
  • A request under the municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act;
  • Education and training with no member discussing or dealing with matters that advance the business decision-making of the Council or local Board.

Ontario Ombudsman

The Ontario Ombudsman investigates complaints of wrongdoing from municipal Councils, local Boards and committees. This helps ensure compliance of the Municipal Act, 2001 with respect to closed meetings.


The Ombudsman is the Closed Meeting investigator for the Town of Saugeen Shores. The investigator determines compliance with the Act and reports results after receiving complaints made by the public. The Ombudsman investigates complaints stemming from:

  • Town Council
  • Committee of Whole

Complaint procedure

To make a complaint about a Closed Meeting, download and complete the Complaint Form, or you can obtain a copy from the Clerk's Department. You can also submit a written request.

In your complaint, you must include:

  • Name of municipality
  • Complainant's name, mailing address, telephone number and email address (if applicable)
  • Date of Closed Meeting under consideration
  • Nature and background of the particular occurrence
  • Any activities undertaken (if any) to resolve the concern
  • Any other relevant information
  • Original signature

Next, enclose your complaint in a sealed envelope, marked "Private and Confidential". Mail or submit your complaint directly to:

Town of Saugeen Shores
P.O. Box 820
600 Tomlinson Dr.
Port Elgin, ON N0H 2C0
ATTN: Clerk

We treat all complaints as confidential and forward them directly to the Ontario Ombudsman.