City Hall Calls Special Farmers Market Board, and Doesn’t Post Public Notice

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Joey Coleman/The Public Record

A sign outside of the doors of the Hamilton Farmers' Market advertising hours of operation

Hamilton City Hall is holding a special meeting of the Hamilton Farmers’ Market Board of Directors this evening and not providing public notice of the meeting. The meeting starts at 5pm, and members of the public wishing to exercise their right to watch the proceedings will need to log into the video conference to do so.

A Market insider contacted The Public Record to share the meeting information. It is not posted anywhere on the City of Hamilton website. The City Manager’s Office does not post public meetings of the Farmers’ Market Board on the City’s website.

Tonight’s meeting is to discuss a scathing consultants report which called for the disbanding of the “ineffective” Board.

Tonight’s meeting is a follow-up to that meeting. The Public Record filed a close meeting violation complaint with the Ontario Ombudsman regarding the September 28 meeting.

The Municipal Act requires the City of Hamilton to make meetings of Local Boards open to the public. During COVID, while meetings are being conducted by video conference, this means the City must livestream or provide members of the public with access to the video stream.

The City Manager’s Office is not streaming videos of the Farmers Market Board neither on the City website nor the City’s YouTube page.

Tonight’s meeting is being held by Cisco Webex. The Public Record will post the meeting information at 4:45pm if the City does not make available a public link to view the meeting.

Hamilton City Hall disputes the requirement for public meetings to be publicly available means that videos of meetings should be available to the public. The City is destroying public meeting videos and no longer making recordings of Local Board meetings.

Thus, if members of the public are not able to join the meeting while it is happening, they will not be able to know what happened.

In 2019, the City Manager’s Office tried to claim releasing of videos it posted to the City of Hamilton YouTube and removed from public viewing could “facilitate the commission of an unlawful act”.

Production Details
v. 1.0.0
First published: October 26, 2020
Last edited: October 26, 2020
Author: Joey Coleman

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v. 1.0.0 original version
v. 1.1.0 corrected the third paragraph which had a versioning error

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