In-Camera vs. Restricted Records

There have been some recent decisions regarding the use of the term “in-camera”. Minutes Solutions has reviewed the decisions and discussed them in detail with our legal counsel. Here, we would like to clearly set out the main issues of each case and our stance going forward. The recent decisions are summarized below:

Decision 1: The main issue being the original request for minutes did not result in all of the minutes being provided. There was a lack of explanation as to why certain portions of the minutes were not provided, and why they were redacted. (Robinson v. Durham Condominium Corporation No. 139, 2021 ONCAT 81)[]

Decision 2: The main issue being the original request for minutes did not result in all the minutes being provided and an overall lack of good minute taking practices by the board. (Russell v. York Condominium Corporation No. 50, 2021 ONCAT 103)[]

Decision 3: The main issue being the original request for minutes did not result in any minutes being provided and a complete lack of response by the board. (Zamfir v. York Condominium Corporation No. 238, 2021 ONCAT 118)[]

The takeaway from all three cases is not only the importance of good minute taking and record keeping, but also the erroneous use of the term “in-camera”, which is not referenced in the legislation governing these decisions. Overall, it is critical to ensure that each request for records is in alignment with the requirements of the applicable legislation and regulations for your region.  As a result of these decisions, Minutes Solutions will no longer be utilizing the term “in-camera” and instead will use the term “restricted records” as we feel it is a more applicable term for our clients, no matter the region.

If there is a request to review records (from a person or entity that is allowed to see the records) the Board is responsible for providing the minutes and ensuring that there are no records omitted, either purposely or unintentionally. If there is a requirement for any redactions to those minutes, then the board must ensure that there is a reason supplied for each redaction.

Minutes Solutions is of the opinion that separating open minutes and restricted records has proven to be a benefit. Separate sets provide ease and efficiency for our clients, particularly in instances where redacting is required. Separate sets help the person redacting the minutes to identify which items are likely to contain portions that should be blacked out. Requesters have the right to review restricted records as long as the appropriate redactions have been made.

We are happy to continue providing minute taking services for restricted records for our clients and will continue to do so for all clients we currently provide this service for. If you no longer wish to receive a separate document with ‘restricted records’ please let us know and we will stop. Ultimately, we will continue to operate with the best interest of our clients at heart.