Council Meetings and Notice Requirements

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What are the different types of council meetings?

Regular council meetings are regularly scheduled meetings that are set and published every year. Council must meet a minimum of at least 6 times a year.(MGA s.110) All Council meetings are public meetings.

A special meeting must be called by a Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) as requested by the mayor or a majority of councillors. 

Meetings of committees of council can be set as regularly scheduled meetings or called as special meetings. 

The Procedural Bylaw establishes the roles of procedure for council and council committee meetings, including:

  • Creating council committees and their functions,
  • Calling, rescheduling and cancelling meetings,
  • Processes for giving advance public notice of meetings and council committee meetings, and
  • Standards for how meetings will be governed.  

Is there a public meeting about the financial plan?

Every municipality is required to have a public meeting in respect of the financial plan (which includes the operational budget, 5 year capital expenditure program, and asset management plan).  This public meeting must take place at least two weeks before council adopts the financial plan.  The financial plan must be adopted by council by March 31. (MGA s.149 - 158) Financial Plan (Budget) and Financial Reporting has more information. 

What are the public notice requirements for meetings?

Public notice is required for all council meetings, including council committee meetings. 

The regular meeting schedule must be published by:

  • Electronic notice (at minimum on a website that is available to the public)
  • At least one other way:
    • A sign or poster in a place that is accessible to the public
    • Newsletter
    • Newspaper

The municipality's Procedural Bylaw will outline how the public will be notified about special meetings. The notice of a special meeting must be published at least 24 hours before the meeting:

  • By electronic notice (at minimum on a website that is available to the public), 
  • By sign or poster in a place that is accessible to the public, 
  • And may include any other ways the municipality wishes to inform the public.

The notice of a special meeting must include the reason for the meeting.

What if the time, place or a date of a meeting needs to be changed?

Public notice is required if a meeting is being changed.  There must:

  • Be at least 24 hours’ notice of the new time, place, or date of the meeting by:
    • Electronic notice (at minimum on a website that is available to the public) AND
    • A sign or poster in a place that is accessible to the public 
  • Be direct notice to all members of council

Are council meetings public?

Council meetings and council committee meetings must take place in public (except for closed meetings).  All decisions of a council must be made by a vote by the majority of councillors at a public meeting.

If a council meeting is going to take place electronically, or council members are participating electronically, this must be outlined in the Municipality's procedural bylaw.    

When can a council close a meeting to the public?

A council or council committee may by resolution close all or part of a meeting to the public, ahead of the meeting or at the meeting but there must be a public record of the decision (resolution).   

Meetings may only be closed to the public to discuss confidential matters such as those listed in subsection 119(1) of the MGA. Best Practises: A Guide for Closed Council and Committee Meetings 

During a closed meeting, council can not pass a bylaw or resolution, other than a resolution:

  • Giving  instructions to the lawyer for the municipality
  • Giving instructions to any person negotiating a contract on behalf of the municipality
  • Giving directions to employees on confidential matters
  • Adjourning the closed meeting or
  • Opening the meeting to the public

All decisions on matters discussed at the closed meeting must be made at a public meeting of council and recorded in the minutes. 

Note: This page is prepared for information purposes only and should not be relied upon as a substitute for specialized legal or professional advice.
Date de publication : 
le 15 Juillet 2024