“In-Camera” is outdated terminology

It’s a Latin term that literally translates to “in chambers,” meaning “in private.” The press and public are not allowed to observe the process.

In a recent RM of McKillop meeting, new councillor Mark Strong recommended that Council stop using the term “in-camera” because he said it was confusing to people. He said the term gave people the idea the private discussion was being recorded and could be collected later. He said after training, he learned the term was outdated and reiterated to ratepayers the private sessions are “absolutely not recorded.”

Several councillors responded that “in-camera” is the actual term.

It’s not surprising the term is confusing some people. There is no mention of either term in the Municipality Act. However, the phrase “closed session” is used only once in the Municipality Act Regulations. The Government of Saskatchewan’s website information on council procedures calls it “in-camera”.

The Saskatchewan Ministry of Government Relations helped clear it up, sort of. They said, “The terms “closed session” and “in camera session” can be used interchangeably. They mean the same thing. The term “closed session” is newer terminology.”

The Ministry has submitted a recommendation to update the website to reflect the modern language.

Jennifer Argue, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Last Mountain Times