Government Amends the Municipal Government Act

The Government of Alberta has tabled amendments to the Municipal Government Act (MGA) to better serve Alberta’s municipalities.

The proposed legislation represents consensus items that were identified by the Government of Alberta and its municipal partners, during the extensive MGA review process.

“The legislative amendments introduced today are an important milestone for the Municipal Government Act. The proposed changes will give our communities the legislation they need to grow and thrive. We look forward to continuing to work with our municipal partners and key stakeholders over the coming months towards the completion of this important review.”

~ Diana McQueen, Minister of Municipal Affairs

If the Bill is passed by members of the Legislative Assembly, the MGA review will have entered the second phase of the process, as laid out in Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed in January by Premier Jim Prentice, Minister McQueen and the presidents of the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association (AUMA) and the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties (AAMDC).

Amendments to the legislation are in line with the recent MOU signed with municipalities and include:

Enhancing Municipal Accountability and Transparency

  • accountability and conduct of elected officials
  • public participation
  • open council meetings
  • petitioning processes

Enabling More Efficient Municipal Operations

  • public notification methods
  • roles and responsibilities of council and administration

Enhancing Municipal Viability

  • municipal corporate planning
  • voluntary municipal amalgamation

Strengthening Municipal and Inter-municipal Planning

  • annexation requirements
  • hierarchy and relationship of plans
  • subdivision and development appeal board training

Addressing Emerging Issues

  • authority to establish civic charters
  • administration of offsite levies in response to a recent court decision
  • integrating some current policy into the MGA, in anticipation of regulation expiry dates

The last major consolidation of the MGA took place in 1995, after nearly 10 years of review. The current MGA review began in 2012 and has involved input from more than 1,200 written submissions, and more than 1,500 people at 77 community meetings.

The government and its municipal partners – including AUMA, AAMDC, and the cities of Edmonton and Calgary – will participate in regularly scheduled roundtable discussions as the MGA review continues. Other stakeholders, such as industry representatives, will be invited to discussions when appropriate.

As planned with municipal partners, another round of legislative amendments is expected in fall 2015, and proclamation of all updates to the MGA is expected by the end of 2016.

Policy areas for discussion include: provincial-municipal relations; accountability and transparency; governance; municipal viability; regional decision-making; municipal revenues; property assessment and taxation; and growth management.

For a detailed look at proposed changes introduced in the Assembly, visit