The public has the right to petition their local government Council or the Minister of Municipal Affairs.
The Municipal Government Act (“MGA”) provides the requirements for a petition to be declared sufficient. To learn more about petitions, and how to conduct one that may be declared sufficient, please visit the Alberta Municipal Affairs website Petition information for electors page.
A sufficient petition is a petition that meets all the requirements of the MGA and may require certain actions by Council as a result. An insufficient petition does not meet those requirements and Council is not bound to take any actions as a result.
The MGA requires that all petitions be filed with the CAO, who must declare the petition to be either sufficient or insufficient, and then provide a report to Council. In reporting an insufficient petition, the CAO may also provide Council with more information on the matter addressed by the petition. Although Council will not be bound to take any action that a sufficient petition might require under the MGA, they may choose to consider the matter in question.
If you have questions about petitions, you may contact the CAO or Municipal Affairs for more information.
Petitions for Local Improvements
Ratepayers can petition for local improvements under section 393 of the MGA. https://open.alberta.ca/dataset/9781460145920
Petitions for local improvements must meet the criteria set out in section 392 of the MGA to be sufficient. In addition to meeting the general rules for petitions, a local improvement petition must: (a) be signed by two thirds of the owners who would be liable to pay the local improvement; and (b) represent at least half of the assessed value of the parcels against which the local improvement is to be applied.
Council can, under section 408 of the MGA, impose a local improvement for a sewer if council considers it to be in the public interest and the construction is recommended by a health officer. There is no right to petition against the local improvement in this instance.
Section 409 of the MGA also allows council to assess the cost of constructing private connections for local improvements against the properties involved without the right of petition.