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In the Municipal Government Act of Alberta, section 208 states:

208(1) The chief administrative officer must ensure that

(a) all minutes of council meetings are recorded in the English language, without note or comment;

Meeting minutes are a legal document which is signed and sealed. If the CAO were to include notes or comments in the minutes, does this make the minutes an illegal document?

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  • I rather suspect that the CAO's improper fulfillment of the duty would not of itself render the document illegal or invalid, but it would mean that the CAO had violated section 208(1)(a).
    – phoog
    Mar 7, 2016 at 23:00

1 Answer 1

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Alberta isn't clear on this matter, but in most areas, meeting minutes are considered a historical document of the actions and intentions of the local government regarding decisions made, and should reflect the events and decisions of the meeting as accurately as possible.

By injecting unnecessary comments or notes into meeting minutes, ambiguity is introduced that may be used to oppose council decisions during legal challenges, especially in cases where the plaintiff argues bias.

So while it's unlikely that the notes/comments would be illegal, they may invalidate a council's decision, and cost the council considerable legal expenses.

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