Ombudsman: Brighton Council Contravened Municipal Act

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The Ontario Ombudsman has determined that Brighton Council contravened the Municipal Act when Mayor Mark Walas discussed a proposal through phone calls with four Councillors – Brian Ostrander, Mary Tadman, Laura Vink and Roger McMurray.  

Although the motivation was a desire to expedite approval by Council, ahead of a March 15th meeting, to allow for the purchase of municipal land by an interested company, the Ombudsman concluded the action caused the meeting to be closed to the public, which was not transparent and accountable as democracy requires.  

The investigation by the Ombudsman was the result of a complaint filed by Brighton Councillor Steven Baker. 

Several recommendations were made by the Ombudsman, which Council unanimously accepted.