Annexation is a provincially legislated process of transferring land from one municipality to another.
Through the Municipal Government Act (MGA), the Province outlines a specific process for annexation. The annexation process involves negotiations between local governments, public engagement, a formal review by the Municipal Government Board (MGB), and a final decision by the Lieutenant Governor in Council. On average the process takes two to five years to complete. The MGB will make a recommendation on the proposal, and the Government of Alberta will make the final decision.
The process for annexation is as follows:
- The municipality proposing the annexation must provide notice to the Municipal Government Board (MGB) and the municipality that it wants to annex land from.
- Both municipalities must meet, discuss the annexation proposal and negotiate in good faith.
- A negotiation report is prepared and sent to the MGB.
- If the annexation is a simple and uncontested application (with signed consents from the landowners and the responding municipality), the application is processed.
- If the annexation is contested (there are no signed consents), the MGB will advertise for objections and anyone can submit objections or concerns.
- If there are objections, and there is not general agreement and mediation attempts have failed, the MGB will conduct a public hearing(s).
- After the hearing, the MGB will prepare a recommendation for consideration by the Minister.
- The Lieutenant Governor of Alberta will consider the Board’s recommendation and approve, approve in part or refuse the annexation proposal.