Table of contents

Status: Bill 51 was introduced on March 16, 2021
Ministry responsible: Justice and Solicitor General

Overview

Bill 51: the Citizen Initiative Act would give 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.

If passed, Bill 51 will also set advertising and spending rules for submitting petitions. These rules would be aligned, where possible, with the Election Finance and Contributions Disclosure Act.

Key changes

If passed, Bill 51, the Citizen Initiative Act will create 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.

Next steps

If passed, Bill 51 the Citizen Initiative Act will come into force upon proclamation.

News

Strengthening Alberta’s democratic system (March 16, 2021)