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Municipalities have broad authority and autonomy under the Municipal Government Act. Councils have the powers necessary to develop and maintain safe and viable communities, balanced by their accountability to the citizens who elect them.

In rare instances where significant concerns arise, the Minister of Municipal Affairs has authority to intervene in the overall administration and/or governance of a municipality through a municipal inspection.

A municipal inspection is an investigation ordered by the Minister of Municipal Affairs that may look at any issues or concerns within the municipality to ensure council and administration are acting appropriately and in accordance with provincial legislation.

The Minister may order an inspection in response to:

  • a request by the municipality’s council
  • a petition
  • serious issues brought to the Minister’s attention

An inspection can take between 6 and 18 months. The inspector may review the municipality’s council meetings, bylaws, finances, and other documents. In addition, the inspector may interview anyone they feel is necessary.

Once the inspection is finished, a report is presented to council and residents in an open meeting to help the public understand the inspection results. The Minister has the authority to order the council and administration to do whatever is necessary to fix problems found during the inspection. Completed municipal inspection reports can be found in the Municipal inspection reports section below.

Current municipal inspections

City of Chestermere (2022)

The Minister of Municipal Affairs received complaints from Chestermere citizens, current and former employees, and elected officials into the administration and governance of the City of Chestermere in February and March 2022.

Ministry staff conducted a preliminary review in April 2022 and concluded that sufficient potential concerns existed to justify an in-depth inspection.

On May 9, 2022, the Minister appointed George Cuff as the inspector to conduct an inspection of the management, administration, and operations of the City of Chestermere, including issues relating to:

  • members of council acting alone and outside of a council resolution
  • the complaints process for code of conduct infractions
  • members of council performing administrative functions and duties
  • improper council meeting procedures and conduct
  • sale of municipal property not in accordance with the Municipal Government Act

The inspector submitted his report to the ministry in September 2022. The ministry reviewed the inspection report and shared the inspection report in a meeting with city council on November 2, 2022.

Members of city council have each received a confidential copy of the inspection report and a list of potential actions the Minister may direct. City council will have an opportunity to provide comments on the inspection report and the list of potential actions. After considering any input from Chestermere city council and making any appropriate adjustments, Municipal Affairs will share the report with Chestermere residents in early 2023.

Municipal inspection reports

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