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Vaughan gets wrist slapped over 'inadvertent' breach of closed-door meeting code
Nov. 25, 2014
By Adam Martin-Robbins

City officials got their knuckles rapped for holding a closed-door meeting with local hospital corporation representatives.

Amberley Gavel Ltd., the company contracted to investigate complaints about closed-door meetings, found councillors “inadvertently” violated the open-meeting provisions of the Municipal Act.

The violation occurred when Mackenzie Health representatives were allowed to make a presentation Jan. 30 during a closed-door session at a committee of the whole meeting on matters related to negotiations about the land lease for the future Vaughan hospital, according to an investigator’s report completed last month.

The hospital is being built on city-owned land at the northwest corner of Jane Street and Major Mackenzie Drive.

“The fact that representatives of Mackenzie Health were permitted to make a presentation, and to answer questions about its negotiating demands, in closed session, is not in accordance with the open meetings provision of the Act,” the investigator’s report states. “We have concluded, however, that Committee of the Whole did this inadvertently and while under the mistaken but bona fide belief that the presentation session was not part of the overall negotiations respecting the long-term ground lease.”

The investigator’s report went on to say “it would have been more prudent” to not allow Mackenzie Health representatives into the closed-session and instead have the city staff negotiating team conduct discussions about the lease with Mackenzie Health.

The investigator was brought in after an unnamed member of the public filed a complaint about what transpired at the meeting.

The report is slated to be discussed during a special meeting called for Wednesday, Nov. 26 at 2 p.m. in the council chamber at city hall.

Also on the agenda - the hospital lands lease agreement with Mackenzie Health.