My Freedom of Information request for documents relating to the Town’s position on Glenway has been turned down by Town Officials (see letter below). The material is to be kept under lock and key.
However, I am told I can make a deputation to Council to ask for this decision to be set aside and I fully intend to do this.
For us to understand what really happened on Glenway we need access to key documents. The OMB adjudicator has already ruled in favour of the developer, Marianneville, though we await her written decision and reasoning.
Until we get the OMB’s written decision there is little point in holding the “lessons learned” meeting that was promised by the outgoing Council in April 2014. In this context, it would be totally weird if reports, minutes and documents, explaining the thinking of councillors and their advisers, were kept secret.
What lessons could be learned in these circumstances?
I hope all those running for election will support my FoI request. But, if not, I’d like them to explain why.
Town Officials refuse FoI Request
October 8, 2014
Dear: Mr. Prentice
RE: Request for Information A17-14-54
Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act
This letter is in response to your request under the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act for access to the confidential memorandums listed as a) b), c), that were presented to the Special Council meeting on 7 April 2014, and to examine d) the minutes of the Committee of the Whole (Closed Session) meeting on 7 April 2014.
Access to these memorandums and minutes is being denied based on Section 6(1) (b) of the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. This section states: that “[a] head may refuse to disclose a record, that reveals the substance of deliberations of a meeting of a council, board, commission or other body or a committee of one of them if a statute authorizes holding that meeting in the absence of the public”.
These meetings were held in Closed Session under the authorization of Section 239(2) (a) of the Municipal Act. This section authorizes holding a meeting in closed session if the subject matter being discussed is “the security of the property of the municipality or local board” and the confidential memorandums were discussed in closed session under Section 239(2) (e) of the Municipal Act. This section authorizes holding a meeting in closed session if the subject matter being discussed is “litigation or potential litigation, including matters before administrative tribunals, affecting the municipality or local board”.
The decision to disclose a record related to a closed meeting is made by Council (i.e., Clerk does not have such authority). You have the option to make this request in writing to Council, or by making the request yourself by making a deputation to Council at a Committee of the Whole or Council meeting.
(The letter goers on to tell me I can ask for this decision to be reviewed by the Information and Privacy Commissioner.)
And what I am asking for:
(1) the confidential memorandum dated 3 April 2014 from Ruth Victor, Ruth Victor Associates, regarding Application for Official Plan Amendment and Draft Plan of Subdivision Approval, Marianneville Developments Limited (Glenway)
(2) the confidential memorandum dated 3 April 2014 from Mary Bull and Johanna Shapira, Wood Bull LLP regarding Marianneville Developments - Phase 2
(3) the confidential memorandum dated 4 April 2014 from the Assistant Director of Planning regarding Marianneville Developments Limited
(4) the minutes of the Committee of the Whole (Closed Session) on 7 April 2014.