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Friday, December 20, 2019

Bruce County Committee Cited For Holding Improper In-Camera Meetings

Bruce County | by John Divinski  

Third party investigator ruled improper closed door meetings were held by Museum Committee.

Bruce County Council, recently cited for not following the rules of closed door meetings, will address the issue in January.

This comes after a third party investigator ruled improper closed door meetings were held by the Museum Committee in 2018 and 2019.

The county received the ruling from Nigel Bellchamber of Amberley Gavel on December 5th, a day before the council's inaugural meeting where Warden Mitch Twolan was returned as warden for another year.

Apparently the complaint came from a member of the Southampton Cultural Heritage Conservancy which is fighting to save the former Anglican Church Rectory, next to Bruce County Museum.

Twolan says they have a plan in mind so the error on closed door meetings doesn't happen again.

He says, "We're going to have some training that the clerk has suggested at some point in February.  So that's how we're going to deal with the situation."

The current chair of the Museum Committee, Saugeen Shores Mayor Luke Charbonneau says of the five meetings in question, he was chair for only the one held in January of this year.

Prior to that, he wasn't on county council.

Charbonneau says he apologizes for the oversight of the January meeting.

He states, it's his intention "to work with Bruce County Council to ensure those kinds of technical errors don't occur in the future."

Charbonneau says the error that was made in his meeting was that they incorrectly identified in the open agenda the reason why the committee was going into closed.

The former rectory has been a bone of contention between the Conservancy and the County.

The county now owns the property and wants to tear down the building to allow expansion of the museum.

There were plans to locate the Nuclear Innovation Institute on the land as well, but they backed off when the controversy arose.

Plans to stop the demolition of the building is now before the courts.

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