Municipal councils, local boards and their committees generally hold public meetings. However, sometimes there's a need to hold closed meetings to receive certain information or give direction.

Municipal governments in Ontario must be transparent and accountable. The provincial government has set the rules for a council, local board or a committee to go into a closed meeting. You can learn more by reading our Corporate Policy on Closed Meeting Investigations.

When can a meeting be closed to the public?

Under Section 239 of the Municipal Act, a meeting or part of a meeting may be closed to the public if the subject matter is:

  • Security of the property of the municipality or Board
  • Personal matters about an identifiable individual, including municipal employees
  • A proposed or pending acquisition or disposal of land by the municipality or Board
  • Labour relations or employee negotiations
  • Litigation or potential litigation, including matters before administrative tribunals, affecting the municipality or Board
  • Advice that is subject to solicitor-client privilege, including communications necessary for that purpose
  • A matter in respect of which a Council, Board, Committee or other body may hold a Closed Session under another Act
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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

Policy statement and guidelines

We appointed Local Authority Services to conduct investigations regarding closed meeting complaints to determine compliance with the Act or Procedural By-law and report back their findings. Local Authority Services retained Aird & Berlis LLP to provide closed meeting investigator services on its behalf.

Requesting an investigation

People may submit requests to the Investigator relating to compliance with the Act or Procedural By-law for meetings or part of meetings that are closed to the public. Before submitting a request for investigation, we encourage members of the public (including corporations) to discuss their concerns or inquiries with the Clerk. 

The Town of Innisfil and the Investigator will treat the identity of the person making the request as confidential, unless authorization is given by the requester to release their identity. See our Investigator Program Brochure for more information.

To submit a request, complete the Request Form or detail the request in writing in a sealed envelope and mail to:

Clerks Office, Town of Innisfil
2101 Innisfil Beach Road
Innisfil, ON L9S 1A1
Tel: 705-436-3710

Or to

Aird & Berlis LLP
Brookfield Place, 181 Bay St Suite 1800
Toronto ON, M5J 2T9
Tel: 416-863-1500

Please mark the envelope: Personal and Confidential – Complaint under Section 239 of the Municipal Act 2001, as amended.