When and why does Council go in-camera? What does that mean?

Council may go in-camera as a committee of the whole to discuss specific things under The Municipalities Act (section 120). Examples of reasons that Council may go in-camera include a topic of discussion that:

  • is within one of the exemptions in Part III of The Local Authority Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. This would include such matters as: confidential matters regarding personnel (including Council), any information obtained in confidence from another government agency, information, upon which release would be detrimental or interfere with any lawful investigation or enforcement of a law, etc.
  • concerns long-range or strategic planning. This can include reviewing and discussing drafts of proposed bylaws, policies, and resolutions, long term asset management, and other long term or strategic tools of the municipality that are up for discussion and have not yet been approved by Council.

If Council makes a resolution to go in-camera, this means they are proceeding to discuss a matter as a Committee of the Whole 'off the record'. No resolutions can be made while in-camera. Council must resume their regular meeting in order to pass resolutions. Council has the right to ask all delegations and observers, including any staff present to leave the room for the period of the in-camera session.

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5. When and why does Council go in-camera? What does that mean?
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