International Observatory on Participatory Democracy

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Public Participation in Alberta's Municipalities

  • Canada
  • Alberta Municipal Affairs


The Municipal Government Act (MGA) establishes a framework for local government that provides municipal councils with the powers necessary to provide for the needs of their community, balanced by councils’ accountability to the citizens who elect them.  It is therefore essential that citizens take an active interest in the development and direction of local governments and express their views to their locally elected representatives.

The information contained on this page includes a number of opportunities for citizens to keep informed about municipal issues and make their views known to council through either formal or informal means.

Attending council meetings

The Municipal Government Act (MGA) prescribes that everyone has a right to be present at council meetings or council committee meetings conducted in public. In certain circumstances protected by the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOIP), council may exclude the public for all or part of council or committee meetings.

Contact administration

This is generally the first line of communication for the residents of a municipality and others. The administrative staff of the municipality carries out the day to day functions of the municipality under the direction of the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO). Municipal staff may be helpful in providing information about bylaws, policies and other matters of interest and concern in the municipality.

Contact locally elected councillor(s)

From time to time, citizens may experience issues with administrative directions or with certain bylaws or policies of the municipality. Residents or any other persons may contact locally elected councillors to express their views. This may result in further conversation and making connections with the appropriate people in administration to address issues appropriately.

Make a presentation to council at a council meeting

Persons may request to be included on a council meeting agenda at the discretion of council. In some instances, council is required to conduct public hearings regarding land use bylaws, rezoning, etc., or on any other matter council deems appropriate.

Persons wishing to make a presentation to council should contact administration to obtain any rules and procedures on making presentations at council meetings. 

Petitioning process for Electors

The Municipal Government Act (MGA) prescribes that the electors of a muncipality may petition their locally elected council or the Minister of Municipal Affairs. For more detailed information select the following link - Petitioning Process for Electors.

Municipal Inspection Reports

Inspections ordered by the Minister of Municipal Affairs under the authority of the Municipal Government Act, when completed, are presented to the residents of the municipality at a public meeting. Completed municipal inspection reports can be found by following the link below: