Council Code of Conduct

Rule No. 3

Confidential Information

       1.   No Member shall disclose or release by any means to any member of the public, any
             confidential information acquired by virtue of their office, in either oral or written form,
             except when required by law or authorized by Council to do so.
       2.   No Member shall use confidential information for personal or private gain, or for the gain
             of relatives or any person or corporation.
       3.   No Member shall directly or indirectly benefit, or aid others to benefit, from knowledge
             respecting bidding on the sale of City property or assets.
       4.   No Member shall disclose the content of any such matter, or the substance of deliberations,
             of the in-camera meeting until the Council or committee discusses the information at
             a meeting that is open to the public or releases the information to the public.
       5.   No Member shall permit any persons other than those who are entitled thereto to have
             access to information that is confidential.
       6.   No Member shall access or attempt to gain access to confidential information in the
             custody of the City unless it is necessary for the performance of their duties and not
             prohibited by Council policy.


Confidential information includes information in the possession of the City that the City is either prohibited from disclosing, or is required to refuse to disclose, such as under Access and Privacy legislation. Such legislation imposes mandatory or discretionary restrictions on disclosure of information received in confidence from third parties of a corporate, commercial, scientific or technical nature, personal information about an individual disclosure of which would constitute an unjustified invasion of privacy, and information that is subject to solicitor-client privilege. Where it is clear that a communication was not made in a confidential manner (ie.
copied to others, or made in the presence of others) or the manner of communication undermines the validity of labelling it ‘confidential’, such communication will not be given any higher level of confidentiality than any other communication.  The words ‘privileged’, ‘confidential’, or ‘private’ will not be understood to preclude the appropriate sharing of the communication for the limited purpose of reviewing, responding or looking into the subject-matter of the communication.
For the purposes of the Code of Conduct, “confidential information” may also include information that concerns personnel, labour relations, litigation, property acquisitions, the security of the property of the City or a local board, and matters authorized in other legislation, to remain confidential.
Under the Procedural By-law, a matter that has been legitimately discussed at an in-camera (closed) meeting remains confidential, until such time as a condition renders the matter public.
Requests for information should be referred to appropriate staff to be addressed as either an informal request for access to municipal records or as a formal request under the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.
Particular care should be exercised in ensuring confidentiality of the following types of information:
  • the security of the property of the municipality or local board;
  • personal information about an identifiable individual, including municipal or local body employees;
  • a proposed or pending acquisition or disposition of land by the municipality or local board;
  • labour relations or employee negotiations and personnel matters.
  • litigation or potential litigation, including matters before administrative tribunals, affecting the municipality or local board;
  • advice that is subject to solicitor-client privilege, including communications necessary for that purpose;
  • a matter in respect of which a council, board, committee or other body may hold a closed meeting under another Act;
  • items under contract negotiation
  • price schedules in contract tender or Request For Proposal submissions
  • statistical data required by law not to be released (e.g. certain census or assessment data)