An information policy and legal expert from Western University is available for media commentary about the report Ontario Ombudsman Andre Marin released earlier today regarding London City Council.
Sam Trosow, a Western professor holding a joint appointment in the Faculty of Law and the Faculty of Information & Media Studies, says, “The main legal issue is whether the Ombudsman is acting within his jurisdictional authority, and whether the conclusion of the report and its recommendations are a reasonable interpretation of the Open Meeting provisions of the Municipal Act. My initial quick review answers this in the positive, although I am sure the report will be coming under attack.”
Trosow thinks a broader policy question is: What remedies should be available once such a finding is made by the Ontario Ombudsman?
“The report limits its recommendations and other than the implications of a negative finding for the councillors involved, there is no sanction being imposed here,” explains Trosow. “I also think that it is important that we encourage members of the public to actually read the report. It is a bit long, but it is quite readable.”
Commentary reflects the perspective and scholarly interest of Western faculty members and is not an articulation of official university policy on issues being addressed.