A new, modernized Municipal Government Act (MGA) is now in place for Edmonton and other municipalities across the province. The City of Edmonton believes a strong MGA that supports the progress and development of Alberta’s municipalities is important for the province and for Edmonton.

Most of the changes contained in the three MGA amending bills and their associated regulations became legislation on October 26, 2017. Remaining amendments and regulations will be phased in over 2018. 

What is the MGA?

The MGA is the second-largest piece of legislation in Alberta and governs 352 municipalities across the province; from a summer village with a population of 10, to a big city such as Edmonton with a population of more than 950,000.

The Act focuses on three areas: governance and administration; assessment and taxation, and planning and development.

What has changed for the City of Edmonton

Edmonton now has more input over decisions that affect growth and development and provide long-term benefits to residents and the region.

The modernized MGA takes into account how important it is for Edmonton and regional municipalities to collaborate on issues of shared importance such as land use, infrastructure and funding of regional services.

Some of those changes mean municipalities can now do the following:

  • Provide extended councillor parental leave
  • May collect all or part of the capital costs for new or expanded community facilities, as well as transportation and sewer infrastructure only after extensive consultation occurs with residents and interested stakeholders
  • Collaborate and partner with neighbouring municipalities on any services that benefit both communities
  • Access to new tools for social housing

City Charters are now included in the MGA for Edmonton and Calgary, and came into effect on April 4, 2018. With the two cities being home to almost half of the province’s population and the final destination for 9 out of 10 international immigrants, City Charters recognize the more complex and unique needs of Edmonton and Calgary.

What the Government of Alberta did

In 2014, the Government of Alberta embarked on a province-wide consultation process to seek feedback on the MGA from interested citizens and stakeholders. In the summer of 2016, the Government of Alberta asked for further input into the final changes being proposed for the MGA. This was the first comprehensive review of the MGA since 1994.

In its review of the MGA, the Alberta Government introduced three amending bills:

  • On March 2015, the Government of Alberta introduced Bill 20, the Municipal Government Amendment Act
  • On May 2016, the next round of amendments to the MGA was released in Bill 21: the Modernized Municipal Government Act
  • The third round of amendments – Bill 8 – An Act to Strengthen Municipal Government was passed by the Legislature in May 2017.

In the past four years, the City of Edmonton has actively participated in this process and provided its recommendations on what a final MGA should include through its June 2014 Submission and City of Edmonton submission, July 2016.

Implementation of MGA Amendments 

City Administration is currently working on the implementation of the new provisions resulting from the Municipal Government Act Review and the City of Edmonton Charter, 2018 Regulation as guided by Council’s priorities. The implementation of each provision will be guided by the required public hearing process.