The Hamilton Police Services Board and Mayor Fred Eisenberger have steadfastly refused to release the agenda of a secret emergency meeting held by the Police Services Board on September 2nd.
The Public Record is the only media outlet in Hamilton to report upon the secret meeting, which we did on September 19.
Mayor Eisenberger declared an emergency related to “security or intimate personal matters” to discuss making the National Day for Truth and Reconcilation a holiday for Hamilton Police Service employees.
In September, Hamilton Police Board administrator Kirsten Stevenson issued the following statement on behalf of the Police Board:
“Emergency meetings may be called by the Chair of the Board, with the consent of the majority of the Members of the Board, to deal with emergency or extraordinary situations. As the Board did not have a regular meeting scheduled in August, the Board met to discuss an item that falls under the category of ‘extraordinary situations’ as the matter needed to be dealt with in a timely manner. The matter involved legal issues, and as such, was dealt with in-camera. The Board’s decision was reported back at its next public meeting, which was held on September 16, 2021. The Board’s September 2, 2021 meeting was held in compliance with the Police Services Act.”
Both Mayor Eisenberger and Stevenson refuse to provide the agenda, minutes, open session video, or why the meeting was conducted in secret.
They have refused to post the meeting agenda to the Board’s website.
Section 35 of the Police Services Act states all police board meetings must be open to the public and notice of meetings provided.
Attempts to receive these public records from the board have failed. Neither the Mayor nor Stevenson responded to requests for the documents.
The Public Record will be escalating our public records request with a complaint to Tribunals Ontario under the Police Services Act.