How Council Works

Did You Know ... When making decisions on behalf of the constituents of Athabasca, Town Council must be certain to follow the regulations contained in the Municipal Government Act.


How Council Works: Municipal Government Act


Athabasca Town Council is an elected group of representatives responsible for developing and evaluating the policies and programs of the Town. Council is also responsible for making sure that the powers, duties and functions of the municipality are appropriately carried out.

When making decisions on behalf of the constituents of Athabasca, Town Council must be certain to follow the regulations contained in the Municipal Government Act (MGA), a document prepared and provided by the Government of Alberta. This act forms the legal basis for the way local governments in municipalities throughout Alberta may operate.

The MGA states that the purpose of a municipality is “to provide good government; to provide services, facilities or other things that, in the opinion of council, are necessary or desirable for all or part of the municipality; and to develop and maintain a safe and viable community.”

In fulfilling their duty, Town Council may pass or amend bylaws for municipal purposes, however all such bylaws must follow specific guidelines in compliance with the MGA.

With reference to the structure of municipal government, the MGA directs that a town council must consist of seven councillors, one of whom is the chief elected official (mayor), unless the council passes a bylaw specifying a higher odd number. The chief elected official and councillors are provided with a detailed list of general duties that they are to carry out.

The MGA is a comprehensive document that covers all areas of municipal organization and administration, including sections on elections, council committees, all types of meetings, financial administration, property assessment, taxation, planning and development, land use, and more. The document is enacted with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta and can be viewed online at: Municipal Government Act.

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