As a province, Alberta is growing. We have some of the best communities in the world, attracting people to our province to live and work.

It’s our quality of life that distinguishes Alberta and brings people to our province. As Alberta and its municipalities continue to grow, we need to continue building strong communities for the future.

That’s why we have undertaken a review of the MGA.

What is the Municipal Government Act (MGA)?

Alberta is made up of cities, towns, villages, hamlets, summer villages, municipal districts and specialized municipalities, all of which are considered municipalities under the Municipal Government Act (MGA). The MGA touches the daily lives of all Albertans, no matter which type of municipality they reside in. This legislation helps to define how our municipalities function, develop land, raise funds for things like services, and more. In other words, it is the guide to how Alberta municipalities operate.

What topics are included in the MGA?

The MGA has three themes:

1. Planning and development: how do we build and grow?

  • Land use planning
  • Planning decisions and appeals
  • Environmental considerations

2. Governance and administration: how are local decisions made?

  • The role of municipal councils
  • The role of municipal administration
  • Taxation exemptions

3. Assessment and taxation: how do we pay for services delivered?

  • Property assessments
  • Property taxes, fees and levies
  • Taxation exemptions

What is the history of this legislation?

Year Description
1883 The first local government election in Alberta was held under the Northwest Municipal Ordinance.
1888 Urban local government began with unincorporated town ordinances.
1895 The village ordinance followed.
1912 Separate acts were put in place for towns, villages, rural municipal districts, and improvement districts. Cities were incorporated by special charter.
1967 The various pieces of municipal legislation were consolidated into the original Municipal Government Act.
1994 The last major consolidation of municipal legislation took place, forming the Act as we know it today.

What is the MGA Review?

The MGA is already an effective piece of legislation, but like all laws, it must be updated from time to time. That time is now.

This is our opportunity to update the MGA so that it can continue to help build strong, prosperous and sustainable communities throughout Alberta.

Who contributed to the MGA Review?

During the review, we consulted with Alberta residents, municipal and business leaders, community organizations, and many others who want to see Alberta communities thrive well into the future. We asked what’s working, what’s not working and what types of transformative changes were required for the Municipal Government Act. Your feedback was used to shape the proposed changes to the MGA to ensure this legislation helps Alberta communities thrive well into the future.

How we consulted

What is not part of the review?

While the review of the MGA was broad, not all aspects of municipal life were included. Some items that were not part of the review were:

  • Existing local municipal budgets
  • Locally operated grant programs
  • Local community projects
  • Existing local neighbourhood plans
  • All other provincial legislation, including:
    • Local Authorities Elections Act
    • Alberta Land Stewardship Act
  • Provincial grant programs

Questions?

Contact us with the details.