London (City) v. RSJ Holdings Inc.
From Ad IDEM / CMLA
June 21, 2007
The Supreme Court of Canada reiterated the importance of the open meeting requirement in municipal law. An interim control by-law was struck down because it was debated in closed session, and rubber stamped in an 8 minute public hearing. Charron J., speaking on behalf of the Court, noted that:
"Municipal law was changed to require that municipal governments hold meetings that are open to the public, in order to imbue municipal governments with a robust democratic legitimacy. The democratic legitimacy of municipal decisions does not spring solely from periodic elections, but also from a decision-making process that is transparent, accessible to the public, and mandated by law. When a municipal government improperly acts with secrecy, this undermines the democratic legitimacy of its decision, and such decisions, even when intra vires, are less worthy of deference."