Throughout Alberta, communities are growing. Municipalities plan how land will be used to meet the needs of these growing communities, now and into the future. Updating the MGA to strengthen municipal and intermunicipal planning will ensure municipalities have the tools they need for orderly, economical, and beneficial development. After hearing from Albertans about how this is important, we worked with municipal partners to develop initial MGA amendments in support of managing growth.

Annexation Requirements

What’s currently in place: Municipalities are enabled to make an annexation application for any reason at any time. Annexation procedures are outlined within the MGA.

What we heard: Albertans have observed that recent annexations have been highly controversial and received a great deal of media attention. Some municipalities have indicated that clear and consistent guidance on when annexations are appropriate may help in these situations.

What’s changing: Develop annexation principles and procedures to ensure annexations occur in an efficient, timely and orderly manner.

When this takes effect: Upon development of the related regulation by fall 2017.

Hierarchy of Plans

What’s currently in place: The MGA contains no explicit hierarchy amongst statutory plans. Statutory plans must be consistent with one another.

What we heard: Albertans, developers, and municipalities have indicated that it is challenging to determine when one statutory plan takes precedence over another statutory plan as land use policies are complex, and are established at both the Provincial and local levels in Alberta. Municipalities have expressed that they want clarity in how various plans for regions and municipalities relate to one another in order to assist them in their decision making processes.

What’s changing: Identify within the MGA the hierarchy and relationship of statutory plans, so that each plan will be consistent with the plans above it.

When this takes effect: Upon proclamation of the Municipal Government Amendment Act.

Appeal Board Training

What’s currently in place: Subdivision and Development Appeal Board (SDAB) members can voluntarily access training, but are not required to do so.

What we heard: Albertans emphasized the importance for SDAB members to have knowledge and understanding of their role and responsibilities. Some municipalities have the capacity to deliver training themselves, while others may prefer to work together or access Provincial resources to do so.

What’s changing: Require SDAB members and clerks to undergo mandatory training based on a standard curriculum. Training may be delivered locally, regionally or by the Province.

When this takes effect: Upon development of the related regulation by fall 2017.

Next steps

Some of these changes to the MGA take effect when they are proclaimed to become law, and others will first require development of a regulation.

Check the status of Bill 20, Municipal Government Amendment Act

The plan for working together on the MGA Review includes a regulatory review consultation that starts in fall 2015 and continues until the fully revised MGA and all related regulatory updates are proclaimed together by fall 2017.


Contact us with the details.