03 May Spring Update on the Municipal Government Act Review
As indicated in previous posts on this blog, the Alberta government has been actively reviewing the Municipal Government Act (MGA). In their recent News Release, the Government has indicated that it will be introducing legislative amendments in May. In addition, there will be several open houses throughout Alberta to obtain feedback on these proposed amendments. Proposed dates and location so far are:
- June 1: Two Hills
- June 2: Lac La Biche
- June 3: Athabasca
- June 6: Rocky Mountain House
- June 7: Calgary area
- June 9: Cochrane
- June 10: Canmore
- June 13: Edmonton area
- June 14: Hardisty
- June 15: Hanna
- June 16: Red Deer
- June 21: High Prairie
- June 22: Peace River
- June 23: Grande Prairie
- June 27: Hinton
- June 28: Whitecourt
- July 13: Brooks
- July 14: Medicine Hat
- July 15: Lethbridge
Given the key role that municipalities play in the management and protection of Alberta’s environment, we have already participated in this review by making written submissions. Ultimately, we would like to see the MGA amended to require and empower municipalities to manage and protect the local environment. Our key recommendations for strengthening the MGA are:
- Protection and management of the environment is a valid municipal planning purpose and, as such, should be expressly recognized in the MGA.
- The MGA should incorporate by-law purposes specific to protection and management of the environment.
- The MGA should expand the enforcement tools available to municipalities for the purposes of environmental protection and management.
- The MGA should expand the revenue generation options available to municipalities to enable environmental stewardship and, particularly, land conservation.
- The MGA should enhance opportunities for public participation in municipal planning processes.
We believe that these amendments will empower municipalities to play a pivotal role in the protection and management of Alberta’s environment.
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The Environmental Law Centre (ELC) has been seeking strong and effective environmental laws since it was founded in 1982. The ELC is dedicated to providing credible, comprehensive and objective legal information regarding natural resources, energy and environmental law, policy and regulation in Alberta. The ELC’s mission is to educate and champion for strong laws and rights so all Albertans can enjoy clean water, clean air and a healthy environment. Our vision is a society where laws secure an environment that sustains current and future generations.
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