Council of the Municipality of Wawa recognizes that it is responsible to provide good government for its stakeholders in an accountable and transparent manner by:

  • Encouraging public access and participation to ensure that decision making is responsive to the needs of its constituents and receptive to their opinions;
  • Delivering high quality services to its citizens; and
  • Promoting the efficient use of public resources.

Accountability and transparency are important in maintaining public trust in council and management. Mayor and Councillors are accountable to the public every four years through municipal elections. It is important that procedures and policies be clearly set out and accessible.

We comply with the legislative requirements of Bill 68, Modernizing Ontario Municipal Legislation Act.

On March 3, 2013, Council adopted the Accountability and Transparency Policy which is to provide guidance for the delivery of the municipality's activities and services. The policy has been developed to comply with Section 270 of the Municipal Act.


Closed Meeting Investigations

Municipal Councils, local boards and their committees must meet behind closed doors on occasion to deal with some matters. For example, if a municipality is being sued or if council is considering purchasing a piece of land or if council must deal with a labour relations issue then it is appropriate that it be able to do so at a closed meeting. The purpose of such a closed meeting is to receive information or give direction.
Local government in Ontario must be transparent and accountable. To this end, the Province has set the rules for a council, local board or a committee to go into a closed meeting. These rules are found in section 239 of the Municipal Act 2001, as amended. They must be strictly followed.
Some of the permitted reasons for going into a closed meeting are:
  • The security of property 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;
  • If the subject matter relates to a request under the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act;
  • Information explicitly supplied in confidence to the municipality;
  • The meeting is held for educating and training and no member discusses or deals with a matter in a way that materially advances the business decision-making of the council or local board;
  • A trade secret or certain specific information supplied in confidence to the municipality, or that belongs to the municipality and has a monetary value;
  • A plan or instruction to be applied to negotiations.

Frequently Asked Questions regarding Meetings

Can meetings be closed if they fall within those exceptions?

Not all meetings must be closed even if they fall within these exceptions. Twelve of the fourteen exceptions are discretionary, meaning that whenever possible, municipalities should opt to discuss the subjects in public, in the interest of transparency. The legislation leaves municipalities the flexibility to keep the doors open. The two exceptions that state meetings must be closed related to:

  • Requests under the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act;
  • On on-going investigation by the Ontario Ombudsman or the municipality’s closed meeting investigator or ombudsman.

Does the term “Meeting” include informal gatherings outside the Council Chambers?

Informal gatherings for social purposes are not considered to be “meetings.” However, if the purpose of the gathering is to discuss business of the council, local board or committee and/or to make decisions, it is more likely to be deemed a “meeting” that is subject to the open meeting requirements.

The purpose of the open meeting rules is not to discourage council members from informal or social interactions, but to ensure such gatherings are not used as a pretext for conducting council business away from public view.

Can votes be taken during a closed meeting?

Generally, meetings cannot be closed to the public during the taking of a vote. Voting in a closed meeting is only permitted if the closed meeting is otherwise authorized and the vote is for a procedural matter or for giving directions or instructions to officers, employees, agents of the municipality, or persons under contract. All votes should be taken formally, in accordance with the procedure by-law, and recorded in the closed meeting minutes. Decisions should not be made by straw poll, show of hands or general consensus.

Complaint Procedure

Complaints must be on the proper form as provided by the Municipality of Wawa and must have the following information: 

  • Name of the Municipality
  • Complainants name, mailing address, telephone number and e-mail (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

Complaints must be submitted to the Ombudsman of Ontario

For more information on this topic, please contact the Municipal Clerk at 705-856-2244 or Email the Clerk or Email the CAO