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Municipal Government Act

Analysis and advocacy related to the Municipal Government Act (MGA) is a key priority for the AUMA, as the MGA governs the way that municipalities plan, manage, and pay for services for their residents. AUMA is a leading voice in advocating for changes to the Act that benefit and empower municipalities.   AUMA also provides input on the development of associated regulations and develops resources to assist with change management. This page provides a single window for MGA-related information and resources developed by the AUMA. 

Current Issues

Red Tape Reduction Initiative 

The provincial government signaled its intent to make more substantive changes to the MGA as part of its Red Tape Reduction Initiative. Municipal Affairs identified some easy changes to the MGA that could be made, based on the Municipal Accountability Program (MAP) and some early red tape reduction suggestions received by the government (e.g. through their public website). MAP reviews municipal processes and procedures to help develop knowledge of mandatory legislative requirements. The first set of red tape reduction changes to the MGA have been outlined in Bill 25 which was introduced in the Legislature on November 18, 2019; they are intended to come into force on January 1, 2020. The province is proposing to introduce further amendments to the MGA in 2020 based on red tape reduction submissions from AUMA, RMA, BILD and others. AUMA’s Red Tape Reduction submission has been provided to the provincial government. Amendments related to the AUMA’s submission are not included in Bill 25, so AUMA will pursue these changes and any others that emerge through committee work and member engagement during this next round of amendments.

 The provincial government signalled its intent to make more substantive changes to the MGA as part of its Red Tape Reduction Initiative. Municipal Affairs identified some easy changes to the MGA that could be made, based on the Municipal Accountability Program (MAP) and some early red tape reduction suggestions received by the government (e.g. through their public website). MAP reviews municipal processes and procedures to help develop knowledge of mandatory legislative requirements. 

The first set of red tape reduction changes to the MGA have been outlined in Bill 25 which was introduced in the Legislature on November 18, 2019; they are intended to come into force on January 1, 2020. The province is proposing to introduce further amendments to the MGA i2020 based on red tape reduction submissions from AUMA, RMA, BILD and others. 

AUMA’s Red Tape Reduction submission has been provided to the provincial government. Amendments related to the AUMA’s submission are not included in Bill 25, so AUMA will pursue these changes and any others that emerge through committee work and member engagement during this next round of amendments.  

Visit the Legislative Amendments page for more details on Bill 25, 2019.  

Taxation of Cannabis Grow Operations 

The federal government reached a cannabis excise tax revenue sharing agreement with the provinces in December 2017, based on the understanding that provinces would share a portion of this revenue with municipalities. To date, the Government of Alberta has not shared any excise tax revenue with municipalities. AUMA called on the province to develop an arrangement that provides a fair share of this new tax revenue stream to municipalities, in recognition of the important services we provide. However, Budget 2019 was silent with respect to cannabis excise tax revenue, and the province has signaled that sharing of this revenue is unlikely during a period of fiscal restraint. 

AUMA also called on the province to make the necessary regulatory changes to ensure municipalities can assess and tax cannabis growth operations at fair market value. Our advocacy on this topic was successful, with the province recently announcing that these regulatory changes will take place in the 2020 tax year.  

Prior to the provincial announcement, cannabis producers had reached out to AUMA to share their position on the taxation model for cannabis production facilities. The industry’s position is that Alberta’s cannabis taxation model needs to be competitive with other provinces in order for the industry to thrive in Alberta The fact that Alberta’s excise tax rate is the second highest in Canada increases the costs for cannabis producers.  AUMA will continue to explore opportunities for joint advocacy with the industry on cannabis excise taxation.   

There are further regulatory issues that still need to be finalized. Visit the Regulatory Changes Page to learn more about AUMA’s ongoing work on Property Assessed Clean Energy Financing, Inclusionary Housing, and tax exemptions.

MGA Change Management Resources

With the support of Municipal Affairs, AUMA and RMA  collaborated  to develop change management resources to support municipalities in implementing new requirements under the revised MGA.  AUMA and RMA provided input to Municipal Affairs to help develop Implementation Fact Sheets that set out these requirements, including implementation deadlines.