What’s an “Open” City Hall Meeting?

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Earlier this afternoon, I was interested to discover the communication from the Ontario Ombudsman’s office which is included in the 2007/11/14 Board of Control Agenda.

What makes a meeting “open”? Does the municipality simply have to allow the public access into the room? Or does a best effort have to be made to ensure that those citizens have a reasonable opportunity to be able to follow the proceeding? Specifically, I’m referring to the ability to hear what committee members and delegations are saying.

My previous effort to address the problem was ignored by members of Council. But the Ombudsman’s letter offers hope for some recourse within the near future:

As of January 1, 2008, the City of Toronto Act, 2006 and the Municipal Act, 2001 provide that any person may request an investigation into whether a municipality or local board has complied with the open meeting requirementsthe Ombudsman’s investigations are conducted at no cost to those who complain…”

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