We often associate municipalities with our municipal councils and the people who serve as elected officials on those councils.  Municipalities also provide essential-local services such as road maintenance, water and sewer services, and garbage collection.  Municipalities share the characteristics of having land and boundaries, providing residents with ways to make decisions about local issues, and being a focus for community activities. The provincial legislation that governs the activities of a municipality is the Municipal Government Act (MGA). The ministry of Municipal Affairs provides resources and expertise to municipalities and boards and associations that support municipalities. The purposes of municipalities are:

  • to provide good government
  • to foster the well-being of the environment
  • to provide services, facilities or other things, that in the opinion of council, are necessary or desirable for all or a part of the municipality
  • to develop safe and viable communities
  • to work collaboratively with neighbouring municipalities to plan, deliver and fund intermunicipal services

Council is the governing body of the municipal corporation and the custodian of its legislative powers under the authority of the (MGA). Council as a whole exercises the powers of the municipality through decisions made at open council meetings and defines the policies and direction that municipal administration will puts into action.

A council must appoint a Chief Administrative Officer (CAO). The CAO is the administrative head of the municipality and is responsible for the day to day operations of the municipality which includes managing municipal staff, preparing materials for council meetings, acting as the primary advisor for council, etc. Council provides direction for the CAO through bylaws and policies. Citizens take an active interest in the development and direction of local governments and may wish to express their views to their locally elected representatives. There are a number of opportunities for citizens to keep informed about municipal issues and make their views known to council through either formal or informal means. The links below provide more information specific to each component of local government, the council, the administration and the public. Please contact Municipal Affairs at 780-427-2225, toll-free in Alberta by dialing 310-0000 first, for more information.

Information bulletins

Find information bulletins related to key municipal dates and changes that may affect municipalities.
See the archive of annual municipal information bulletins

Administration resources

Council and council resources

Financial resources

Financial Reporting Requirements

Election resources

Planning and development resources

Public resources

General resources


For more information, contact Municipal Affairs at:

Phone: 780-427-2225 
Toll free: 310-0000 before the phone number (in Alberta)
Email: lgsmail@gov.ab.ca