Ontario's Ombudsman says municipal councils that meet in secret should be punished.

Last week the inquiry looking into the June 2012 fatal mall collapse heard allegations that Elliot Lake city council met behind closed doors for years, without the public’s knowledge.

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Ontario Ombudsman Andre Marin speaks to reporters in Sudbury. He was in December of 2012 to speak with City of Greater Sudbury council about closed door meetings. (Erik White/CBC)

That's a violation of the Municipal Act.

Ontario ombudsman André Marin has been investigating such complaints for the past five years.

A spokesperson with his office said Marin wants legislation to penalize people who break this law.

"He feels that there should be something added to the law that would [be] … just some kind of token penalty … whether it's a fine or some consequence," said Linda Williamson.

Last year the Ombudsman's office received 120 complaints about closed door meetings.

Ombudsman's 2012 report on the work done by his Open Meeting Law Enforcement Team (OMLET)