In Camera

Did You Know... In camera sessions during Council meetings are held to ensure confidentiality in compliance with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOIP) and the Municipal Government Act.


In camera sessions comply with privacy legislation


While it may appear that Town Council is trying to avoid public and media scrutiny when going “in camera” during a Council meeting, the fact is in camera sessions are permitted or required for reasons of confidentiality. These sessions are in compliance with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOIP) and the Municipal Government Act.

In camera is a legal term meaning “in private”. When council elects to go in camera, it means that the meeting is closed to all but members of Council and invited guests, including, in most cases, senior town management. A vote of council is required to enter into an in camera session. Media and public are asked to leave during the closed session and are welcome to return following.

“An in camera session can happen anytime during a Council meeting,” notes Chief Administrative Officer Doug Topinka. “But generally, we have it at the end as a courtesy to attending members of the public or media.”

Formal business decisions cannot be completed during in camera sessions. If a motion is required, Councillors must return to the regular meeting to conduct the business in open council. Business that is conducted at that time will be included in the official meeting minutes where the public and media will have access to it in case they have questions.

Back to main page

Text-Size: AAA