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Status: Bill 51 received royal assent on June 17, 2021
Ministry responsible: Justice and Solicitor General
Bill 51: the Citizen Initiative Act gives Albertans a more direct role in the democratic system by enabling eligible voters to propose legislative, policy or constitutional action on issues that affect them.
Bill 51 also sets advertising and spending rules for submitting petitions. These rules are aligned, where possible, with the Election Finance and Contributions Disclosure Act.
Bill 51, the Citizen Initiative Act creates a process allowing any eligible voter to bring forward petitions to submit:
- proposed legislative and policy changes to the legislative assembly for consideration
- proposed constitutional referendum questions to the provincial government
To start this process, Albertans would apply to the Chief Electoral Officer for approval to create a petition.
If approved, the petitioner would have 90 days to gather signatures in support of their initiative.
- Successful petitions for legislative and policy initiatives require signatures from 10% of voters province-wide.
- Successful petitions for constitutional initiatives require signatures from 20% of voters province-wide and 20% of voters in each of two-thirds of Alberta’s electoral divisions.
Petitioners would be responsible for all costs associated with gathering the required number of signatures, but could accept contributions toward their initiative, as long as they follow applicable financing rules.
- Citizen Initiative Act Fact Sheet (PDF, 385 KB)
- Select Special Democratic Accountability Committee Final Report: Citizen’s Initiative and Recall (PDF, 572 KB)
Bill 51, the Citizen Initiative Act will come into force upon proclamation.
Strengthening Alberta’s democratic system (March 16, 2021)
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