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Freedom to care - Existing regulatory exemptions

Use an online tool to identify existing exemptions to regulations for your non-profit.

Overview

Non-profits have identified challenges with navigating the Government of Alberta’s regulatory environment. In response to this, the government has created a search tool to help non-profits identify existing exemptions to regulations.

For each existing exemption, the search tool below shows you its related regulations and application process.

If an exemption to a regulation does not already exist, you can apply for a one-time exemption.

Fact sheet: Exemption to Regulatory Requirements

Search existing regulatory exemptions

Use the search criteria or scroll down to see the full list.

34 results

Exemption name

  • Ministry:
    Advanced Education

  • Legislation:
    Post-secondary Learning Act
    Section 106(3)
    Programs of Study Regulation
    Section 14

  • Exemption type:
    Automatically applies

  • Description:

    Post-secondary institutions that offer degrees in divinity – programs that are meant primarily to prepare students for service in the work of a religious group – are exempt from degree program approval requirements under the act.

  • Process description:

    Exemptions are applied automatically. (No application is required.)

  • Ministry:
    Advanced Education

  • Legislation:
    Private Vocational Training Regulation
    Section 3

  • Exemption type:
    Automatically applies

  • Description:

    There are several exemptions from the requirement to obtain a license to deliver private vocational training that could apply to charities and non-profits. These exemptions including training:

    • intended to provide personal interest or enjoyment
    • intended to update existing skills
    • for which the tuition fees are less than $1,000
    • provided by a labour union or professional association to its members
    • for which all operating funds are provided by government grants
    • for which all tuition is paid by the government

  • Process description:

    Exemptions are applied automatically. (No application is required.)

  • Ministry:
    Agriculture and Forestry

  • Legislation:
    Meat Inspection Regulation
    Section 32(1)

  • Exemption type:
    Requires an application

  • Description:

    Currently, a mobile butcher can apply for an exemption to slaughter 4-H animals.

    Effective January 1, 2022, exemptions for 4-H slaughter will not be granted to mobile butchers. Instead, there will be these 2 options:

    • 4-H animals can be transported to an on-farm slaughter operation (OFSO)
    • the 4-H owner can apply for an OFSO licence and then conduct the slaughter

    Exemptions are not required:

    • to transport a live animal to an OFSO
    • for an OFSO to slaughter a 4-H animal

  • Process description:

  • Contact name:
    Agriculture and Forestry

  • Email:
    [email protected]

  • Ministry:
    Children’s Services

  • Legislation:
    Residential Facilities Licensing Regulation
    Part 2: Section 20(3)

  • Exemption type:
    Requires an application

  • Description:

    The director may exempt a licence holder from the requirement to maintain a record for each child that is residing in the facility – if they are there on a temporary and short‑term basis.

  • Process description:

    Exemptions are applied at an operational level on a case-by-case basis.

  • Contact name:
    Children’s Services (Office of the Statutory Director)

  • Phone number:
    780-422-4441

  • Ministry:
    Culture and Status of Women

  • Legislation:
    Film and Video Classification Regulation
    Section 3, 4(2)

  • Exemption type:
    Requires an application

  • Description:

    An educational, religious or non-profit organization registered under the Societies Act – or under the equivalent legislation of a province other than Alberta – is exempt from the requirement to pay the fees for a:

    • film distribution licence
    • film classification

  • Process description:

    • Fill out the online form on the Organize a film festival or community film screening page
    • Alberta Film Classification (AFC) will reply within 2 business days

    An organization may be required to provide AFC with:

    • documentation to confirm its non-profit or charitable status
    • a viewing copy of its film or films for classification

    Link:

  • Contact name:
    Culture and Status of Women

  • Email:
    [email protected]

  • Ministry:
    Health

  • Legislation:
    Charitable Donation of Food Act
    Sections 2(1), 2(2)

  • Exemption type:
    Automatically applies

  • Description:

    All people are automatically exempt from liability when they donate food with good intentions and no intent to make a profit.

  • Process description:

    Exemptions are applied automatically. (No application is required.)

  • Ministry:
    Health

  • Legislation:
    Food Regulation
    Sections 1(1)(h), 3(3)(a)(i), 3(4)

  • Exemption type:
    Automatically applies

  • Description:

    Community organizations are exempt from requiring a Food Handling Permit to host a function.

  • Process description:

    Exemptions are applied automatically. (No application is required.)

    An organization:

    • must notify Alberta Health Services (AHS) of the function and comply with the relevant portions of the regulation
    • may be required to provide AHS with documentation to confirm its charitable status

  • Contact name:
    Alberta Health Services

  • Phone number:
    780-342-2000

  • Toll free:
    1-888-342-2471

  • Email:
    [email protected]

  • Website:

  • Ministry:
    Health

  • Legislation:
    Food Regulation
    Sections 8(1)(a), 8(2)

  • Exemption type:
    Requires an application

  • Description:

    Charities are exempt from paying a fee for a Food Handling Permit. Any businesses can be exempted from paying a fee for a Food Handling Permit – if doing so is considered appropriate.

  • Process description:

    Contact Alberta Health Services (AHS) and follow their process. An organization may be required to provide AHS with documentation to confirm its charitable status.

  • Contact name:
    Alberta Health Services

  • Phone number:
    780-342-2000

  • Toll free:
    1-888-342-2471

  • Email:
    [email protected]

  • Website:

  • Ministry:
    Health

  • Legislation:
    Food Regulation
    Sections 1(1)(d), 1(1)(h), 2(2)(a), 2(3), 2(4)

  • Exemption type:
    Automatically applies

  • Description:

    The regulation does not apply to a bake sale hosted by a community organization – if the sale meets the strict definition of a ‘bake sale.’

  • Process description:

    Exemptions are applied automatically. (No application is required.)

    An organization may be required to provide Alberta Health Services with documentation to confirm its charitable status.

  • Contact name:
    Alberta Health Services

  • Phone number:
    780-342-2000

  • Toll free:
    1-888-342-2471

  • Email:
    [email protected]

  • Website:

  • Ministry:
    Health

  • Legislation:
    Food Regulation
    Sections 2(2)(m), 2(3), 2(4)

  • Exemption type:
    Requires an application

  • Description:

    Under certain circumstances, an operation or event that is serving food to the public can be exempted from the regulation.

  • Process description:

    Contact Alberta Health Services (AHS) and ask to speak with a public health inspector.

    AHS may refer an organization to the Alberta Health ministry.

  • Contact name:
    Alberta Health Services

  • Phone number:
    780-342-2000

  • Toll free:
    1-888-342-2471

  • Email:
    [email protected]

  • Website:

  • Ministry:
    Health

  • Legislation:
    Public Health Act
    Waiver Regulation
    Sections 1, 2, 3

  • Exemption type:
    Requires an application

  • Description:

    Under the act, certain provisions of certain regulations may be waived.

  • Process description:

    Contact Alberta Health Services (AHS) and ask to speak with a public health inspector.

    For each exemption request, AHS must hold a hearing to consider it.

  • Contact name:
    Alberta Health Services

  • Phone number:
    780-342-2000

  • Toll free:
    1-888-342-2471

  • Email:
    [email protected]

  • Website:

  • Ministry:
    Justice and Solicitor General

  • Legislation:
    Alberta Rules of Court
    Provincial Court Fees Regulation
    Section 3.3(1)

  • Exemption type:
    Automatically applies

  • Description:

    When someone requests to file or issue a document – that has a fee payable under the regulation – at the court:

    The clerk of the court must waive the fee if they are presented with a copy of the Legal Aid Certificate issued by Legal Aid Alberta – for the person who the document is to be filed or issued for.

  • Process description:

    When someone receives legal representation from Legal Aid Alberta (from a staff lawyer or a lawyer on its roster):

    • Legal Aid Alberta will give the person a copy of the Legal Aid Certificate to confirm that they are eligible for legal aid coverage
    • Next, Court and Justice Services will give the person an exemption from its various court document filing fees

  • Ministry:
    Labour and Immigration

  • Legislation:
    Employment Standards Code
    Employment Standards Regulation
    Sections 2(1)(b)(xiii), 3(l), 8(i)

  • Exemption type:
    Requires an application

  • Description:

    Camp counsellors and instructors at an educational or recreational camp – operating as a charity or non-profit for children or handicapped individuals, or for religious purposes – are exempt from these provisions in the standards:

    • keeping of employment records for regular and overtime hours of work
    • hours of work for overtime and overtime pay
    • general holidays and general holiday pay
    • minimum wage

  • Process description:

  • Contact name:
    Labour and Immigration

  • Email:
    [email protected]

  • Ministry:
    Labour and Immigration

  • Legislation:
    Employment Standards Code
    DVE: Section 74 MVE: Section 74.1
    Employment Standards Regulation
    DVE: Section 43.86 MVE: Section 43.87

  • Exemption type:
    Requires an application

  • Description:

    Based on their operational needs, charities and non-profits can apply for either a:

    • Director Variance or Exemption (DVE)
    • Ministerial Variance or Exemption (MVE)

    DVEs allow an employer, group of employers or employer association to apply for a variance that varies or exempts:

    • hours of work confined
    • notice of work times
    • rest periods
    • days of rest
    • overtime hours
    • 3 hour minimum
    • maximum averaging period under hours of work averaging arrangements

    MVEs allow an employer, group of employers or employer association to apply for a variance or exemption for any provision in the code or regulation.

  • Process description:

  • Ministry:
    Labour and Immigration

  • Legislation:
    Occupational Health and Safety Act
    Section 1(hh)(i)

  • Exemption type:
    Automatically applies

  • Description:

    Family members and volunteers of farming and ranching operations are exempt from the requirements in the act.

  • Process description:

    Exemptions are applied automatically. (No application is required.)

  • Contact name:
    OHS Information

  • Phone number:
    780-415-8690

  • Ministry:
    Municipal Affairs

  • Legislation:
    Municipal Government Act
    Section 333.1(1)(a)(ii)

  • Exemption type:
    Contact the municipality

  • Description:

    The council of a municipality may make a tax agreement with an assessed person who occupies or manages the municipality’s property. This includes property under the direction, control and management of a non-profit that is holding the property on behalf of the municipality.

  • Process description:

  • Contact name:
    Municipal Affairs

  • Email:
    [email protected]

  • Ministry:
    Municipal Affairs

  • Legislation:
    Municipal Government Act
    Sections 362, 363, 364
    Community Organization Property Tax Exemption Regulation
    Section 6

  • Exemption type:
    Contact the municipality

  • Description:

    Properties owned by non-profits and benevolent organizations that are used only for community events, recreation, sports, worship, etc. – for the benefit of the public – are exempt from property taxation under the act.

    The regulation contains the provisions that govern property tax exemptions for charities, non-profits and benevolent organizations that are not directly cited in the act.

    Property tax exemptions are given, under the act, to properties held by and used in connection with:

    • Ducks Unlimited
    • Canadian and Alberta Hosteling Associations
    • Royal Canadian Legions, Army, Navy, and Air Force veterans in Canada
    • other organizations of former members of any allied forces
    • student dormitories


    Learn more: Guide to Property Tax Exemptions in Alberta

  • Process description:

  • Contact name:
    Municipal Affairs

  • Email:
    [email protected]

  • Ministry:
    Municipal Affairs

  • Legislation:
    New Home Buyer Protection Act
    Section 1(1)(s)
    New Home Buyer Protection (Ministerial) Regulation
    Part 1: Sections 2, 3, 4

  • Exemption type:
    Automatically applies

  • Description:

    Due to a blanket exemption under the act, the following organizations are not required to have mandatory new home warranties or builder licensing:

    • Alberta Social Housing Corporation (ASHC)
    • Humans Helping Humans
    • certain chapters of Habitat for Humanity

    Societies connected to the ASHC through funding relationships can be exempted under the regulation.

  • Process description:

    Blanket exemptions are applied automatically. (No application is required.) Exemptions for societies connected to the Alberta Social Housing Corporation are applied on a case-by-case basis.

  • Contact name:
    Residential Protection Program

  • Email:
    [email protected]

  • Ministry:
    Municipal Affairs

  • Legislation:
    Safety Codes Act
    Sections 2(1), 2(2)

  • Exemption type:
    Requires an application

  • Description:

    The minister may make an exemption by ministerial order – including during a state of emergency – for any thing, process or activity that is regulated by the act, and include terms and conditions.

  • Process description:

    • Contact the Technical and Corporate Services Division
    • Exemption requests must then be made to the Minister of Municipal Affairs or the department]

  • Contact name:
    Technical and Corporate Services Division

  • Phone number:
    780-644-5624

  • Email:
    [email protected]

  • Ministry:
    Municipal Affairs

  • Legislation:
    New Home Buyer Protection Act
    Part 3: Section 8(5)

  • Exemption type:
    Requires an application

  • Description:

    New social housing projects – for organizations who meet the definition of a charity or non-profit – may be exempt from needing a new home warranty and builder license. This is based on the individual circumstances, including the:

    • organization’s status as a non-profit
    • potential risk to consumers

    New commercial properties, dormitories, care facilities, recreational facilities and relocatable work camps are exempt from warranty and licensing requirements.

  • Process description:

    Email project information to the Residential Protection Program.

    Exemptions are applied by the registrar on a case-by-case basis.

  • Contact name:
    Residential Protection Program

  • Email:
    [email protected]

  • Ministry:
    Service Alberta

  • Legislation:
    Charitable Fund-Raising Act
    Section 3

  • Exemption type:
    Automatically applies

  • Description:

    An organization does not have to register itself as a charity if it’s:

    • only asking for contributions from its members or their immediate families
    • only asking for goods that are not for resale (e.g., office furniture)
    • only asking for services that will be used for its administration or other non-charitable purposes (e.g., volunteers)
    • raising funds through raffles, pull tickets, bingos or casinos

  • Process description:

    Exemptions are applied automatically. (No application is required.)

    If an organization is raising funds through raffles, pull tickets, bingos or casinos, they must contact the Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis Commission for licensing information.

  • Contact name:
    Consumer Programs

  • Phone number:
    780-668-3956

  • Ministry:
    Service Alberta

  • Legislation:
    Charitable Fund-Raising Act
    Section 4

  • Exemption type:
    Automatically applies

  • Description:

    Before accepting a charitable contribution, someone who makes a solicitation – in person or over the phone – must provide the potential donor with:

    • the required information about the organization
    • a reasonable opportunity to review it

    These requirements only apply for solicitations made by a:

    • fund raising business
    • charity that uses a fund raising business
    • charity with gross contributions of $25 000 or more in that year

    Note:

    The 2 requirements above do not apply in this situation:

    • a fund-raising business is not involved
    • the charity has gross contributions of less than $25,000

  • Process description:

    Exemptions are applied automatically. (No application is required.)

  • Contact name:
    Consumer Programs

  • Phone number:
    780-668-3956

  • Ministry:
    Service Alberta

  • Legislation:
    Consumer Protection Act
    Section 120(1)

  • Exemption type:
    Automatically applies

  • Description:

    Charities, non-profits and religious organizations are exempt from the requirement to be licensed to hold a sale by auction.

  • Process description:

    Exemptions are applied automatically. (No application is required.)

    Organizations must use the services of a qualified auctioneer.

  • Contact name:
    Consumer Programs

  • Phone number:
    780-668-3956

  • Ministry:
    Service Alberta

  • Legislation:
    Consumer Protection Act
    Ticket Sales Regulation
    Sections 2(1), 2(2)

  • Exemption type:
    Automatically applies

  • Description:

    Non-profits operating a secondary ticketing platform are exempt from the ticket refund provisions in the act. If a non-profit is acting as a secondary seller, they are also exempt.

  • Process description:

    Exemptions are applied automatically. (No application is required.)

  • Contact name:
    Consumer Programs

  • Phone number:
    780-668-3956

  • Ministry:
    Service Alberta

  • Legislation:
    Personal Information Protection Act
    Section 56(1)

  • Exemption type:
    Automatically applies

  • Description:

    For the types of non-profits described in the act, the act only applies to commercial activities that involve the handling of personal information, including the sale of donor or membership lists.

  • Process description:

    Exemptions are applied automatically. (No application is required.)

  • Contact name:
    FOIP-PIPA Help Desk

  • Phone number:
    780-427-5848

  • Ministry:
    Service Alberta

  • Legislation:
    Real Estate Exemption Regulation
    Section 2(1)

  • Exemption type:
    Automatically applies

  • Description:

    Non-profits are exempt from certain provisions that relate to acting as a real estate broker. These exemptions allow non-profits to legally carry out the activities necessary to operate subsidized housing facilities, such as:

    • leasing residential premises
    • collecting rent
    • advertising

  • Process description:

    Exemptions are applied automatically. (No application is required.)