+ RMA Rural Municipalities
of Alberta

Resolution 8-15F

Land Acquisition Process for Crown Land

November 26, 2015
Expiry Date:
November 30, 2018
Active Status:
MD of Bonnyville
5 - Edmonton East
Transportation and Infrastructure
Vote Results:
Carried as Amended

WHEREAS the Municipal Government Act (MGA) gives care and control of 66’ road right-of-ways to the local municipalities; and

WHEREAS municipalities are constructing public roadways that are for everyone to use; and

WHEREAS there are significant gaps in the road right-of-way standards followed by Alberta Transportation and those followed by municipalities; and

WHEREAS local municipalities may require additional lands owned and controlled by the Government of Alberta for the construction of a public roadway;

Operative Clause:

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties urge the Government of Alberta to transfer care and control of all Crown lands required for construction of public roadways to the municipality at no charge and with no other consultations required.

Member Background:

The current process for land acquisition on Crown land is extremely onerous and subject to multiple consultations and environmental assessments. On some occasions this process has cancelled projects from being completed. These road projects are required for the safety of the residential taxpayers and industry alike. Municipalities are constructing public roadways that are for everyone to use, the access to and process for securing public lands for road widening or for new alignments is not effective.

This was developed in the 1800’s for the future development of the province. The standard of the day was adequately accommodated with this specification. In today’s reality the standards have changed, currently Alberta Transportation requires a minimum setback for development of 70 meters from centerline of roadway for future highway widening.

In order to facilitate the future growth in our area and to safely accommodate the increased traffic of both residential and industry vehicles we need access to the land that is required to accommodate this growth.

RMA Background:

6-10S: Purchase of Crown Lands for Construction of Municipal Infrastructure

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the AAMDC request the ministry of Sustainable Resources Development of the Province of Alberta return to a policy of nominal sum fee transfers for municipalities for Crown Lands which are required for construction of municipal infrastructure works.

DEVELOPMENTS: In its initial response to this resolution the Government of Alberta noted that it had suspended the sale of public lands to municipalities for a nominal sum, and indicated no intention of reversing this decision.  This topic is to be reviewed in in 2016. This resolution remained unsatisfactory for the duration of its ‘active’ period.

Government Response:

Municipal Affairs: Alberta Municipal Affairs has no comment on this resolution, as it involves matters under the jurisdiction of Alberta Environment and Parks (EP) and Alberta Transportation.

Transportation: Alberta Transportation follows the processes outlined by EP regarding the sale or transfer of Crown land. Any changes to this process would need to be addressed through that ministry.

EP has indicated that all proceeds from the sale of public land go into the Land Stewardship Fund, established through the Alberta Land Stewardship Fund Regulation under the Public Lands Act in 2011. The fund is held and administered by the Minister of EP. The Land Stewardship Fund cannot be used for municipalities to build infrastructure. Allocation of any funds to municipalities for infrastructure development is outside the EP’s mandate and ability.

EP, on behalf of other Government of Alberta ministries, will inform municipalities through the referral process regarding applications received for the purchase of public lands, to allow them an opportunity to address their concerns before a final decision is made.


The government response indicates that revenue gathered through the sale of public lands is not accessible to municipalities for the purposes of road-building. This is somewhat unrelated to the purpose of the resolution, which is to provide municipalities with Crown land at no charge when it is needed to acquire rights of way to build or expand municipal roads. This resolution is assigned a status of Intent Not Met, and the AAMDC will advocate to Alberta Transportation and Alberta Environment and Parks on this issue.

Provincial Ministries:
Municipal Affairs,
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