May 21st, 2024

Alberta government to amend bill granting it sweeping powers over municipalities

By The Canadian Press on May 2, 2024.

The Alberta government is making changes to a bill that gives cabinet unfettered power to fire mayors and councillors and overturn local bylaws. Minister of Municipal Affairs Ric McIver and Alberta Premier Danielle Smith introduce legislation in Edmonton, Wednesday, April 10, 2024. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

EDMONTON – The Alberta government is making changes to a bill that would give cabinet unfettered power to fire mayors and councillors and overturn bylaws.

Municipal Affairs Minister Ric McIver says the government will introduce changes and implement rules surrounding how and when cabinet can overrule local governments.

The bill is before the legislature and has been criticized by municipal leaders as a severe overreach into municipal government affairs.

Alberta Municipalities president Tyler Gandam has said members are concerned the proposed law would intimidate and silence legally elected officials who dare criticize the province.

McIver says he wants to make it clear that the new powers in the bill would only be used as a last resort.

He says the power to repeal municipal bylaws should be used only when those bylaws fall under areas of shared responsibility, such as health care, education, the provincial economy or public safety.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 2, 2024.

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