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Ministry responsible: Municipal Affairs
The Government of Alberta, the City of Edmonton and the City of Calgary have developed city charters that came into force in spring 2018.
City charters are regulations that provide Edmonton and Calgary with additional authorities and flexibility with the aim of building strong, vibrant cities that attract trade and investment.
The need for city charters
Calgary and Edmonton are governed by the Municipal Government Act (MGA), a one-size-fits-all approach to serving all of Alberta’s municipalities.
The MGA helps to define how Alberta’s municipalities operate, including how they raise funds to meet the needs of their citizens.
Due to their size and their leading roles in their regions, Calgary and Edmonton are hubs of opportunity, but they also face more pronounced challenges and complexities compared to other Alberta municipalities.
These challenges and complexities are why Alberta’s two largest cities have Charters – regulations that grant them additional flexibility with respect to provincial legislation and regulation.
About city charters
A city charter provides a city with specific flexibilities and authorities to better meet the needs of citizens.
The city charters for Calgary and Edmonton are regulations that enable the cities to modify or replace specific provisions in the Municipal Government Act and some other provincial acts and regulations.
Unless explicitly outlined in the charter regulation, all other legislation will continue to apply to the two cities.
City charters are enabling, meaning that the Cities of Calgary and Edmonton can choose if and when they would like to use the additional authorities they are granted through charters.
The cities are required to hold public hearings when passing bylaws using charter authorities.
City charters include both regulatory changes and a collaboration agreement (PDF, 36 KB).
The collaboration agreement supports ongoing, long-term coordination between the two cities and the Government of Alberta.
The collaboration agreement is a commitment to cooperate on emerging matters of mutual interest, such as:
- social policy
- environment and climate change
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