+ RMA Rural Municipalities
of Alberta

Resolution 12-04S

Special Constable Authority

January 1, 2004
Expiry Date:
March 31, 2007
Active Status:
Vote Results:

WHEREAS special constables have provided an efficient and effective service to municipalities, particularly in rural Alberta; AND WHEREAS special constables have, in the past, been granted authority to enforce provincial statutes including the Traffic Safety Act, Dangerous Dogs Act, Petty Trespass Act, etc.; AND WHEREAS special constables have, in the past, been granted Criminal Code authority to provide for enforcement of impaired driving; AND WHEREAS in many jurisdictions, municipal special constable departments have an excellent relationship with the RCMP, with joint programs as well as joint training; AND WHEREAS the Solicitor General has initiated actions to reduce the authority of special constables as well as restrict or make difficult joint training with the RCMP;

Operative Clause:

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties urge the provincial government to be more supportive of the special constable program and reinstate special constable authority to enforce impaired driving offences, if so desired by the municipality;AND FURTHER BE IT RESOLVED that the AAMDC urge the provincial government to allow municipal jurisdictions to work directly with local RCMP detachments on joint programs and training.

Member Background:

For a number of years rural municipalities have employed special constables to undertake bylaw enforcement as well as many provincial statutes such as the Traffic Safety Act, Provincial Offences Procedures Act, Dangerous Dogs Act, as well as the Criminal Code of Canada for enforcement of impaired driving and executing warrants.Over the past two to three years, the Solicitor Generals department has systematically been reducing the authority of special constables (e.g. impaired driving), and made it more difficult to undertake joint training with the RCMP. The department has also implemented the necessity for cumbersome formal traffic plans for local roads, which are under the jurisdiction of local municipalities.It appears that isolated problems, which should be dealt with on an individual basis, are being used to rationalize these initiatives against special constables.Special constables serve a vital role that is not provided by the RCMP, nor is it necessary that some of these services be provided directly by the RCMP. If a reverse of the recent trends by the Solicitor Generals department is not forthcoming, rural special constables will become demoralized and ineffective and leave a significant gap in rural law enforcement.

RMA Background:

The AAMDC has no resolutions currently in effect with respect to this issue.At the Fall 2003 Convention, delegates defeated resolution 30-03F. The resolution requested that the provincial government amend regulations and/or policies to provide rural municipalities with the authority to use special constables for enforcement of all provisions of the Traffic Safety Act on rural primary highways.

Provincial Ministries:
Solicitor General and Public Safety
Back to Resolutions Database