The Municipal Government Act (MGA) establishes a framework for local government that provides municipal councils with the powers necessary to provide for their community. It is balanced by councils’ accountability to the citizens who elect them.
This page includes information about opportunities for citizens to keep informed about municipal issues and to make their views known to council through either formal or informal means. It is essential that citizens take an active interest in the development and direction of local governments and express their views to their locally elected representatives.
Attending council meetings
The MGA prescribes that everyone has a right to be present at council meetings or council committee meetings conducted in public. In certain circumstances protected by the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOIP), council may exclude the public for all or part of council or committee meetings.
The municipality’s administrative staff carries out its daily functions under the direction of the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO). This is generally the first line of communication between residents and others of a municipality. Municipal staff may be helpful in providing information about bylaws, policies and other matters of interest and concern in the municipality.
Contact locally elected councillor(s)
Residents or anyone else may contact councillors to express their views on local issues, bylaws, policies, or any matter relating to the municipality. This may result in further conversation or connections with the appropriate people in administration to appropriately address issues.
Make a presentation at a council meeting
Council is required to conduct public hearings regarding land use bylaws, rezoning, etc., or on any other matter council deems appropriate. Members of the public may request to be included on a council meeting agenda and should contact their local administration to obtain information regarding council’s procedures on making presentations at council meetings.
Petitioning process for citizens
The MGA specifies that the electors of a municipality may petition their locally elected council or the Minister of Municipal Affairs.
The following documents may be used to identify areas of the MGA relating to petitions to council and to the Minister. The documents provided below are intended to supplement and explain specific sections or applications of the MGA.
Information Handout on Petitions intended for council (PDF, 833 KB) - updated December 2018
Information Handout on Petitions intended for the Minister of Municipal Affairs (PDF, 833 KB) - updated March 2018
Municipal inspection reports
Inspections ordered by the Minister of Municipal Affairs under the authority of the Municipal Government Act, when completed, are presented to the residents of the municipality at a public meeting. Completed municipal inspection reports can be found on the Municipal Inspection Reports page.
To contact the Capacity Building Unit at Alberta Municipal Affairs: