Stratford City Council didn’t follow the rules for closed-door-meetings while discussing the controversial Xinyi Canada Glass Plant.

That’s the ruling of an independent investigator who found councilors broke a municipal bylaw and a provincial rule that requires that they keep their meetings open to the public as often as possible.

The meeting in question was held in September 2018 and was part of the process involving the now cancelled glass plant.

The investigator, John George Pappas of Aird & Berlis LLP, a law firm hired to put the report together, says council made the decision to vote in an in camera session on “good faith, but mistaken belief.”

Municipal disclosure rules don’t give councils “blanket permission to shield its closed meeting discussions behind generic resolutions.”

Pappas says council should “familiarize themselves” with how closed-door-meetings are required to be held under the province’s municipal act and he says they should give more details about any in camera meetings in the future.

Get Concerned Stratford complained about council’s process late last year which prompted the report.