Legal Studies 479
Unit 2: Municipalities and Changes in Their Status
After completing this unit, you should be able to
The Municipal Government Act recognizes that municipalities have natural person powers and, like natural persons, municipalities are formed, grow, and cease to be. Although all municipalities are equal in comparison to each other, and are able to exercise the same powers, they are distinguished by their size and population, with the Act distinguishing them by both the size of the majority of their lots and their number of residents.
There are three basic forms of municipalities: rural, urban and specialized. In addition, there are three forms of “quasi-municipalities”: improvement districts, special areas and hamlets.
There are approximately 243 municipalities in the province of Alberta of varying sizes and populations, not including the “quasi-municipalities.”
The power to create and change municipal status rests with the Lieutenant Governor in Council. This power is most often exercised as a result of a recommendation by either the Minister of Municipal Affairs or the Municipal Government Board, or both. As a result, most of the law in relation to status change is found in the written reports of the Municipal Government Board, rather than in Court decisions.
Sunshine Village ski resort, Banff, Alberta, Canada. Author: John Johnston. Wikimedia Commons. Retrieved April 3, 2012.