What is the MGA?
The Municipal Government Act (MGA) is the law that governs how Alberta’s municipalities operate. It defines how Alberta’s municipalities are governed, funded and developed. Specific to our industry, the MGA establishes the policies and procedures governing:
• The powers of municipal councils and municipal staff;
• Decision making powers;
• Growth/land supply management both locally and regionally;
• The creation of Municipal Plans, Zoning Bylaws and subdivision requirements;
• Municipal taxation, other revenue generation tools (i.e. levies and fees) and debt;
• City Charters for Calgary and Edmonton;
• Regional Collaboration and Growth Management Boards;
• The creation of inclusionary housing programs;
• Environmental powers at the municipal level; and
• Appeal bodies.
The last major review of the MGA occurred in 1994 and took 10 years. The current review started in 2012 and is set to finalize just prior to the 2017 municipal elections. Many of the changes to the MGA have already taken place through amendments approved in Bill 20 and Bill 21, however, many decisions still need to be made. For a complete timeline of the MGA Review process, click here. BILD Calgary Region has also prepared a video that provides an excellent resource for anyone looking for an initial breakdown of the MGA.