The rules for preparing and filing a petition seeking a public vote are set out in the Sections 221 - 226 , 232 and 234, Municipal Government Act.
The Municipal Government Act gives the Chief Administrative Officer for the City (the City Manager) the authority to declare to City Council whether or not the City received a petition containing sufficient valid signatures to require a public vote on a bylaw.
The Municipal Government Act permits the City Manager to delegate any responsibilities to an employee of the City. All matters involving petitions have been delegated to the City Clerk.
When a petition is complete, petitioners should contact the Office of the City Clerk at 780-496-8178 to arrange a time to deliver the petition to the City Clerk’s Office.
The Municipal Government Act requires the City Clerk to review the petition and count the valid signatures. Within 30 days of receiving the petition, the City Clerk must declare whether the petition contains sufficient names to require a vote on a bylaw.
In order to determine whether the petition requires Council to put a bylaw to a vote of the electors, the City Clerk will follow the rules in the Municipal Government Act. Prior to collecting signatures for a petition, please review the legislation to ensure the petition meets all of the legislative requirements.
The City Clerk may consider the following matters to ensure that the petition meets the legislative rules:
Electors may petition for a new bylaw, or a bylaw to amend or repeal an existing bylaw. The subject matter of the bylaw can be anything within Council’s power, except for matters falling under these parts of the Municipal Government Act:
- Financial Matters (Part 8)
- Assessment of Property (Part 9)
- Taxation (Part 10)
- Sustainable Development (Part 17)
If the subject matter of a petition is one of these matters, a vote on the bylaw requested by the petitioners is not required.
If the bylaw requested in the petition is a bylaw amending or repealing an existing City bylaw or resolution, the petition seeking repeal or amendment of that bylaw must be filed with the City Clerk within 60 days of the date on which the bylaw or resolution was passed by Council.
If the petition is presented later than 60 days after Council made it's decision to pass the bylaw or resolution, a vote on the requested bylaw is not required.
Every page of a petition must have the same “purpose statement,” which sets out what bylaw the petitioners are asking Council to put to a vote.
People Allowed to Sign the Petition
Only electors may sign the petition as described above.
Information Electors Have to Provide on the Petition
Every elector signing the petition must provide the following information:
- the correct municipal address or legal description of the property where the elector resides – business addresses or fictional addresses do not meet the requirement
- the date on which the petition was signed
- the elector's signature
- printed version of the elector's name
If the elector signing the petition does not provide this information, the signature cannot be counted.
An elector cannot sign for any other person.
Every signature on the petition must be witnessed by an adult person. The witness must sign the document next to the name of the elector whose signature is being witnessed.
The witness must swear an affidavit stating they believe that the elector who signed the petition was entitled to sign the petition (i.e. met the requirements to be an elector).
Dates Signatures Collected
The only signatures that can be counted are ones collected 60 days or sooner from the date on which the petitioner delivered the petition to the City Clerk.
Number of Signatures
The petitioner must obtain enough signatures from electors to equal ten per cent (10%) of the City’s population. The City’s population is determined by the City’s most recent official Census.
Call the Election and Census Office at 780-496-8008 for the most recent population number.
The only names on the petition that can be counted are ones that:
- were collected 60 days prior to the date when the petition was delivered to the City Clerk
- appear on a page with the purpose statement
- include the elector’s printed name, residential address (or legal description for the residence), signature, and the date the elector signed the petition
- are witnessed
- have affidavits from the witnesses properly sworn before someone legally entitled to commission affidavits in Alberta
The representative of the petitioners must also sign the petition declaring that they are the representative of the petitioners for all purposes.