Strengthening Alberta’s justice system

The Justice Statutes Amendment Act (Bill 5) streamlines legal and court processes, and improves security at the Alberta legislature.

Status: The Justice Statutes Amendment Act received royal assent on December 15, 2022
Ministry responsible: Justice


The Justice Statutes Amendment Act (formerly Bill 5) strengthens our justice system by taking steps to simplify legal and court processes for Albertans and improve security at the Alberta legislature.

The act amends 6 acts to make it easier to collect child support, increase the civil claims limit, clarify referendum rules, eliminate unnecessary record-keeping requirements, and support the transfer of trusts.

Changes also allow legislative security to carry firearms. This was recommended by the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly and Sergeant-At-Arms following incidents on Parliament Hill in 2014 and at the Alberta legislature in 2019.

These changes reduce red tape, increase access to the justice system, and ensure the legislature building and grounds remain a safe and secure setting.

Key changes

The Justice Statutes Amendment Act updates the following legislation:

  • Legislative Assembly Amendment Act

    • Enables training of legislative assembly security personnel as peace officers so they can carry firearms and have the training and equipment necessary to secure the legislature building and grounds of the legislative precinct in the event of a threat or dangerous incident.
  • Interjurisdictional Support Orders Act

    • Allows the electronic transfer of certified family support documents between reciprocating Canadian jurisdictions, making it easier to collect child and spousal support payments for families living in different parts of the country from their ex-partners and spouses.
  • Provincial Court (Civil Claims Limit) Amendment Act

    • Allows government to increase the civil claim limit that can be filed through the Court of Justice from the current limit of $50,000 up to a maximum of $200,000, reducing pressures on courts and enabling more Albertans to file small claims at the provincial level.
    • Maintains the existing option for someone to pursue a claim in the Court of King's Bench if they choose.
  • Referendum Act

    • Clarifies that the requirement to bring a resolution to the legislature only applies to constitutional questions.
    • Updates the regulation to be consistent with recent amendments to the Election Act and allows for a referendum to be held with the upcoming provincial general election.
    • Updates terminology and removes sections that are no longer needed.
  • Sale of Goods Act

    • Eliminates unnecessary record-keeping requirements for buyers to get good title when grain is sold and delivered at a grain elevator.
    • Updates the language in Alberta’s Sale of Goods Act to align with the federal Canada Grain Act to help avoid confusion.
  • Trustee Act

    • Ensures a trust does not fail if there is temporarily no trustee.
    • Removes the transfer of trust property to the court, allowing the trust property to move directly to the new trustee once appointed.

For more information, read the Justice Statutes Amendment Act, 2022, info sheet

Next steps

The Justice Statutes Amendment Act took effect when it received royal assent on December 15, 2022.