Lethbridge City Hall

While municipalities have many powers, they are also accountable to their residents and, in some cases, the province.

Councillor accountability

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

  • Making policies
  • Setting the municipal budget
  • Deciding on municipal programs

Individual councillors may be disqualified if they:

  • Act on matters where they (or a relative) have a financial interest
  • Have excessive unexcused absences from council meetings
  • Have been convicted of a criminal offence

Accountability of administration

Municipal administration manages the community’s day-to-day programs and services. The administration carries out the municipal council’s decisions and community operations, like managing public transit.

Administration is accountable to the Chief Administrative Officer, who is accountable to the local council. One of the ways administrations may be held accountable includes curtailing certain powers.

Provincial oversight

Municipalities are accountable to the Province. Under the MGA, the Province may need to make decisions based on the needs of the majority of Albertans, which could affect an individual municipality. The province may also take action if a municipality has proven to act inappropriately.

Public participation

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
  • Reading council minutes 

Learn more

The MGA empowers municipalities to provide good government, deliver services and develop viable communities. Learn about the rules municipalities may set in serving their residents.

Want to learn more about the scope of the MGA Review? Check out the MGA Review Workbook.