Regular Council meetings are held on the first and third Thursday of the month at 9:00 a.m. in the Council Chambers, located at 1123 North Shore Road. There is only one meeting per month in both December and January, and also in the summer months. Check the Township Calendar for dates.
Members of the public are welcome to attend and watch council meetings however only pre-registered delegates are permitted to speak or address council when it’s in session.
Food and drinks are not permitted in the Council Chambers. You may enter or leave the Council Chambers at any time except during the reading of a resolution or the casting of a vote.
Special Council Meetings
A Special Council meeting is a council meeting other than a regular meeting. Special Council meetings are open to the public, unless all or part of the meeting is closed by a vote of council.
In-Camera (Closed) Meetings
The Province of Ontario has established rules for a Council, local board or a committee to go into a closed meeting through the Municipal Act, 2001, S.O. 2001, c.25, as amended. Any person or corporation may request that an investigation be undertaken respecting whether the closed meeting legislation has been contravened.
Why are some meetings closed to the public?
Municipal Councils, local boards and their committees must meet behind closed doors on occasion to deal with certain 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 Municipal Act states that all meetings of Council shall be open to the public except where the subject matter being considered falls within one of the categories expressly set out in the statute. The permitted reasons for going into a closed meeting are as follows:
- The security of the property of the municipality or local board;
- Personal matters about an identifiable individual, including municipal or local board employees;
- A proposed or pending acquisition or disposition of land by the municipality or local board;
- Labour relations or employee negotiations;
- Litigation or potential litigation, including matters before administrative tribunals, affecting the municipality or local board;
- Advice that is subject to solicitor-client privilege, including communications necessary for that purpose;
- 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;
- 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 or decision making of the Council, local board or committee.
Complaints about Closed Meetings
As of January 1, 2008 any person or corporation will be able to request that an investigation be undertaken respecting whether a municipality or local board, or a committee of either, has complied with closed meeting rules outlined in the Municipal Act, 2001 or the applicable procedural by-law.
Through Local Authority Services Ltd., (LAS) the Township of Algonquin Highlands has engaged the services of Amberley Gavel Ltd. as the Municipal Closed Meeting Investigator and has authorized them to conduct investigations upon receipt of a complaint in respect of closed meetings or parts of closed meetings. The Investigator will determine compliance with the Act or the applicable procedural by-law with respect to closed meetings and will report on the results of such investigations.
Complaints about Closed Meetings do not provide for access to the discussion held in the Closed Session, only if it proper procedure was followed.
Complaints may be submitted on the established complaint form. The complaint form (PDF format) may be printed from the website or can be obtained from the Clerk’s Department. All complaints must be submitted in a sealed envelope marked “Private and Confidential” and contain the following information:
- 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
Complaints may be submitted by mail or delivered directly to:
Township of Algonquin Highlands
1123 North Shore Road
Algonquin Highlands, ON K0M 1J1
Please remember to mark the envelope “PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL”. All complaints will be treated as confidential at all times and will be forwarded directly to Amberley Gavel Ltd.
Chief Administrative Officer/Clerk