+ RMA Rural Municipalities
of Alberta

Resolution 5-24S

Legislation Consultation with Municipalities

Date:
April 1, 2024
Expiry Date:
February 28, 2027
Active Status:
Active
Sponsors:
MD of Big Lakes
District:
4 - Northern
Year:
2024
Convention:
Spring
Category:
Municipal Governance and Finances
Status:
Sent to Government
Vote Results:
Carried
Preamble:

WHEREAS past decisions of the Government of Alberta (GOA) have negatively affected municipal financial planning and budgeting when prior consultation has not occurred; and

WHEREAS it is critical for the GOA to sufficiently inform municipalities of any legislation, regulation or administrative action that could decrease revenues or increase expenditures; and

WHEREAS all orders of government serve the same taxpayer; and

WHEREAS several provinces and territories have passed legislation requiring consultation with municipalities in advance of any policy change that may have a fiscal impact on municipalities; and

WHEREAS prior consultation is a procedural matter and would not in any way bind the GOA to act upon recommendations put forward by the Rural Municipalities of Alberta and ABMunis; and

WHEREAS meaningful municipal consultation would enhance the decision-making process and prevent unintended consequences of legislative changes;

Operative Clause:

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Rural Municipalities of Alberta advocate to the Government of Alberta to amend the Municipal Government Act to include the following statement:

Requirement to notify

(1) The Minister shall notify the Rural Municipalities of Alberta (RMA) and Alberta Municipalities (ABMunis) at least one year prior to the effective date of any legislation, regulation or administrative action undertaken by or on behalf of the Government of Alberta that would have the effect of decreasing the revenue received by the membership of RMA and ABMunis or increasing the required expenditures of the membership of RMA and ABMunis.

(2) Subsection (1) does not apply with respect to any legislation, regulation or administrative action applying to the Province generally and not specifically to municipalities.

Member Background:

This resolution will allow municipalities to work with the Government of Alberta (GOA) and be partners in achieving solutions that, while supporting the needs of the province, do not create negative financial extremes and hardships for municipalities.

This formal collaborative arrangement will enhance due process, which benefits both parties and, most importantly, the citizens of Alberta, which we both serve.

This resolution asks that a new section in the Municipal Government Act titled “Requirement to Notify Municipalities” be added that requires the GOA to provide one year’s notice to any action that will have the effect of decreasing municipal revenue or increasing our required expenses.

By voting for this resolution, we will achieve the meaningful consultation process necessary to achieve good governance and better provide essential municipal services to all Albertans.

The following provinces and territories all provide consultation in their legislation:

  • Nova Scotia: Consultation Required Before Amendment

“The Minister is required to consult the executive of the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities respecting any proposed amendment to the MGA” (S.518).

  • Prince Edward Island: Consultation

“The Minister shall consult with the Federation of Prince Edward Island Municipalities respecting any substantive amendment that the Minister proposes to this Actor the regulations under this Act.” (2016,c.44,s.9.)

  • Ontario: Consultation

“The Province of Ontario endorses the principle of ongoing consultation between the Province and municipalities in relation to matters of mutual interest and, consistent with this principle, the Province shall consult with municipalities in accordance with a memorandum of understanding entered into between the Province and the Association of Municipalities of Ontario” (2005, c. 8, s. 1).

  • British Columbia: Principles for governmental relations

“The minister responsible must provide the representatives of the municipal association with sufficient information respecting the proposed change and allow the representatives sufficient time to consider the proposed change and provide their comments to that minister” (S.276 of B.C Community Charter).

“The relationship between local governments and the Provincial government in relation to this Act is based on the following principles: (c) notice and consultation is needed for Provincial government actions that directly affect local government interests” (Part 1 Section 3 Local Government Act).

  • Yukon: Changes to this Act

“The Government of the Yukon must consult with the Association of Yukon Communities on any direct amendments that a Minister proposes to this Act” (S.Y. 1998, c.19, s.11).

Works Cited:

RMA Background:

RMA has no active resolutions directly related to this issue.

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