Allegations of ‘breach’ in Brampton leads Councillor to block members from virtual meetings

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Published December 1, 2023 at 10:10 am

One Brampton City Councillor is calling for changes to city rules after allegations of a “breach” at a confidential meeting where sensitive information may have been “leaked.”

A committee of council meeting got heated this week when Brampton City Councillor Michael Palleschi called for council to waive procedure, banning members not present in council chambers from attending the closed session portion of the meeting.

Council meetings typically include an “in-camera” session, where councillors tackle sensitive city business and requests under the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

But Palleschi said he asked for the change to Wednesday’s meeting after a new item was included to the agenda – one he believed was added “because someone may have leaked in-camera information” from the week before.

“I personally feel that there have been breaches of closed session items, particularly last term and at the beginning of this term of Council,” Palleschi said in a statement to Insauga.com.

Coun. Navjit Kaur Brar was chair of the meeting when Palleschi called for the change to council rules for the day and the vote passed, banning members from attending the private session virtually.

Coun. Martin Mederios, who was not present in council chambers but attended the meeting online, pushed back against the temporary change casting the only ‘no’ ballot while Councillors Pat Fortini and Dennis Keenan were counted absent as they were not present in-person or online for the meeting.

Palleschi now says he has asked staff to amend Council’s procedural bylaw “to only allow in-person attendance for closed session items” in the future.

Council is required to report back in public session on whether decisions, directions or motions result from an in-camera session.

The last term of council saw in-fighting as members were on opposite sides of a boycott of council meetings and an illegal motion passed to replace a Brampton City Councillor last year.

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