How are local decisions made?

Municipal governments have powers and responsibilities under the Municipal Government Act (MGA) to make and implement decisions on a range of matters to best serve their communities.

The MGA contains specific guidelines for how municipalities operate. However, since no two communities are exactly alike, the MGA is also flexible, empowering municipalities to make decisions based on local needs.

The MGA outlines processes for governance and administration of Alberta communities, such as:

What municipalities provide

Alberta municipalities provide services and facilities for their communities, which can include:

  • Waste management
  • Library services
  • Transportation
  • Protective services

The role of a municipality

Municipal governments are made up of a municipal council and a municipal administration.

A community’s elected municipal council makes decisions and passes bylaws and resolutions on behalf of the community.

Municipal administration manages the community’s day-to-day programs and services. The administration carries out the municipal council’s decisions and manages community functions.


Municipalities are accountable to their residents. In every Alberta community, residents have opportunities to be involved in municipal decision-making. Albertans can get involved in many ways, including:

  • Open meetings
  • Notices and the right to be heard in decision-making processes
  • Access to information
  • Petitions
To learn more about the Municipal Government Act, check out the MGA Review Workbook.