Municipal government

UCP makes changes to Municipal Government Act in hopes of certainty for public health rules

“We recognize the importance of local self-government,” Municipal Affairs Minister Ric McIver said on Tuesday. “That’s why the proposed changes will have no impact on the day-to-day operations of municipalities in Alberta. As we walk together on a path to normalcy, Alberta needs a clear public health policy. The best way to do this is to make sure the rules are clear, specific and the same for all Albertans.

Government officials say most municipalities are already complying with public health requirements for COVID-19, so the proposed changes won’t affect them. Officials say local governments will continue to have the authority to implement masking or proof of COVID-19 vaccination regulations at municipal facilities, such as recreation centers, public transit and buildings. municipal.

Fast facts

  • Existing municipal by-laws on these matters will no longer be in effect when the law comes into force.

“These decisions should be made at the local level between democratically elected leaders and voters,” said NDP Municipal Affairs Critic Joe Ceci. “For a government that claims to be a people’s party and a premier who even signed a people’s guarantee, the UCP is launching a direct attack on local democracy and the wishes of Albertans.

“This is the same government that constantly warns against the excesses of the federal government. But now Prime Minister Kenney and the UCP are doing exactly the same thing they accuse Justin Trudeau of doing. The irony is not lost on me, nor on Albertans,” Ceci added.

“Unfortunately, the Premier and his government don’t see the hypocrisy and that’s another reason Albertans can’t trust them. The UCP must respect Alberta voters and abandon this bill.

“We are concerned that the Government of Alberta is setting a troubling precedent by amending the MGA – Alberta’s primary law governing municipalities – without prior consultation,” responded Cathy Heron, president of Alberta Municipalities.

“Municipalities in Alberta appreciate that the provincial government has limited the scope of these legislative changes, but we continue to believe that the best public health decisions are those based on science and data, rather than differences.” and political calculations. We will follow with great interest the debate on Bill 4 in the Legislative Assembly,” said Heron.