Jan 09, 2017
By Jane Brown
A request by Toronto Mayor John Tory of the Ontario premier that his executive committee be allowed to meet in private is being panned as anti-democratic by a former provincial ombudsman.
Andre Marin agrees “it would be a lot easier to have a private meeting with the 12 councillors on the executive committee, but who loses is democracy – you and I – because we weren’t privy to those discussions and decisions.”
Marin did not have jurisdiction over Toronto during his time as Ontario ombudsman from 2005 to 2015, but he did call out other municipalities that defied Ontario’s Municipal Act. The legislation states committees must meet in public unless they are discussing specifically defined issues including security and solicitor-client privilege.
Mayor Tory has acknowledged making the request of Kathleen Wynne during a private meeting earlier this year. The discussion has become public because it was mentioned in a record released to the Toronto Sun through a freedom of information request.