ABmunis and RMA worked together to provide the Public Engagement Guide and companion Templates Workbook to support municipalities with understanding and meeting requirements added to the Municipal Government Act (Part 7) in 2018. Every Alberta municipality is required to have a Public Participation Policy that complies with the MGA and the Public Participation Policy Regulation, which includes ensuring that the policy is publicly available (e.g. posted on the municipality’s website).
An additional resource, Public Participation Policies and Public Notification: A Guide for Municipalities, which includes a Public Participation Policy Template and a Public Notification Bylaw Template, was developed in 2018 by the municipal associations (in conjunction with Alberta Municipal Affairs) to further support municipalities in complying with the requirements in the MGA and the Regulation.
The MGA authorizes municipalities to customize their processes for advertising statutory notices (i.e. newspaper, mail, electronically, etc.) through a Public Notification Bylaw to suit their communities’ needs. These resources can also assist municipalities with the process to develop this type of bylaw.
All of these resources together provide practical advice and tools to support public engagement and maintain an effective Public Participation Policy. They also encourage municipalities to work with their residents and stakeholders to understand how they want to be engaged and involved in municipal decision making. These resources have been created to help all sizes of municipalities, but they may be especially beneficial for smaller municipalities. The content was developed to be applicable to both elected officials and municipal administration.