Press Release – Corporate transparency October 18, 2018
October 18, 2018
Hearst, Ontario – In order to ensure transparency and to inform the citizens, the Municipality obtained legal advice regarding the dissemination of information concerning certain corporations owned by the Town of Hearst, in particular, the Hearst Power Distribution Corporation and the Hearst Wi-Fibe Corporation. Each of these corporations is governed by the Business Corporations Act (Ontario) and each is a separate legal entity. The corporations are owned by the Town but do not constitute a direct service or department of the Town and therefore are not themselves subject directly to the Municipal Act. The Town has put in place for each of the corporations a shareholder’s declaration, which sets out the framework within which a corporation can work, subject to applicable corporate and other governing laws and regulations.
With respect to the distribution of financial information and commercial matters, this information must remain confidential because, among other things, of the competitive environment in which some corporations operate, such as Hearst Wi-Fibe. Hearst Wi-Fibe works in a competitive sector and publicly sharing minutes and financial statements might give competitors access to information that could put Hearst Wi-Fibe at a disadvantage.
The Town may request the corporation to disclose additional information, but it is up to the corporation’s Board of directors to make such a decision. In addition, the Town cannot force the corporation to publish the minutes of the Board’s meetings.
By law, every municipality is required to be transparent in respect of its decisions. The Town of Hearst wishes to emphasize that several measures are being taken to meet the transparency requirements, including the broadcast of Council meetings on the community cable and Facebook. In addition, all documentation relating to a Council meeting is available on the CivicWeb portal on the Municipality’s website www.hearst.ca. Residents can watch Council meetings live and have access to all meeting agendas, minutes and related documents. However, section 239 of the Municipal Act allows Council to hold a closed meeting to deal with certain prescribed matters.
For more information, please contact Janine Lecours, Clerk, at 705.372.2813 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org