Regional Council today approved the Closed Meeting Protocol, as part of The Regional Municipality of Durham’s continued efforts to conduct business in an open, transparent and accountable manner.
“The Closed Meeting Protocol will serve as a guide to all, including Regional Council and Regional staff, on the legislated requirements for closed meetings, and will also encourage best practices related to municipal governance matters,” said Matthew Gaskell, Commissioner of Corporate Services. “It aligns with the Region’s new strategic plan, which promotes a culture of openness and encourages public engagement in governance and decision-making. The new protocol has the added value of helping the public understand Durham’s processes in relation to closed meetings.
A closed meeting, also known as an in-camera meeting, is defined as a meeting or part of a meeting, which is closed to the public as permitted by the Municipal Act. Prior to proceeding in a closed meeting session, Regional Council is required to pass a resolution stating the fact that a closed meeting is to be held, and the general nature of the matter to be considered.
The new protocol provides information regarding the statutory requirements and Regional procedures for council and committee meetings that are closed to the public, and outlines Municipal Act rules for closed meetings.
Annual statistics regarding the Region’s closed meeting sessions will be provided through reports compiled by Corporate Services-Legislative Services. Sharing this key data with Regional Council and the public is part of the Region’s commitment to enhancing accountability and transparency.