Petitions are legal instruments regulated by the Municipal Government Act of Alberta (MGA). Anyone wishing to submit a petition is encouraged to read Petition Information for Electors, a guide published by Alberta Municipal Affairs.
Petitions for Advertised Bylaws and Resolutions
When provincial legislation requires the Town of Canmore to advertise a bylaw or council resolution before it is approved, the electors have an opportunity to submit a petition to require the bylaw or resolution to be put to a public plebiscite.
Borrowing bylaws and loan guarantee bylaws are the most common types of advertised bylaws that electors may petition. Once a bylaw of this type has received first reading at a public council meeting, the Town of Canmore must advertise the bylaw at least once a week for two consecutive weeks in the newspaper. The Town of Canmore advertises in the Rocky Mountain Outlook. To be considered sufficient, a petition must be filed with the Town’s Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) within 15 days after the last date the bylaw is advertised.
For advertised bylaws other than borrowing bylaws and loan guarantee bylaws, the petition must be filed with the CAO within 60 days after the last date the bylaw is advertised.
The MGA does not allow electors to petition road closure bylaws or bylaws related to planning and development.
Petitions for New Bylaws
Electors may petition for a new bylaw, or for a bylaw to amend or repeal an existing bylaw or resolution. This does not apply to bylaws under the following parts of the MGA: Part 8 Financial Administration; Part 9 Assessment of Property; Part 10 Taxation; Part 17 Planning and Development; or Part 17.2 Intermunicipal Collaboration.
The signatures on a petition for a new bylaw must be collected no more than 60 days before the date on which the petition is filed with the Town of Canmore’s CAO. Petitions requesting an amendment or repeal of a bylaw or resolution must be filed with the CAO within 60 days of the bylaw or resolution being passed.
Number of Signatures Required
Petitions, other than petitions for local improvement bylaws, must be signed by electors of Canmore equal in number to a least 10% of the population. According to the 2016 federal census, the permanent population of Canmore is 13,992. This means a petition needs to contain at least 1,399 signatures.
Who can Petition
Except for a local improvement petition, only electors of a municipality are eligible to be petitioners. An elector, as defined in the Local Authorities Election Act, is a person who is a Canadian citizen 18 years of age or older who lives in Alberta and whose place of residence is in Canmore on the day they sign the petition. For a person who has more than one residence in Alberta, the person must designate their place of residence in according with the following factors in order of priority:
- the address shown on the person’s driver’s license or motor vehicle operator’s license issued by or on behalf of the Government of Alberta or an identification card issued by or on behalf of the Government of Alberta;
- the address to which the person’s income tax correspondence is addressed and delivered;
- the address to which the person’s mail is addressed and delivered.
Filing a Petition with the CAO
Petition Information for Electors contains a guide to petitions, examples of required documents, links to applicable legislation, and contact information for the legislative advisors at Municipal Affairs.
Commissioner for oaths services are available at the Civic Centre reception desk, free of charge.