Requesting Action from Alberta Municipalities
The Difference Between Resolutions & RFDs
As a member driven organization, Alberta Municipalities seeks input from municipalities on the actions we take. There are several ways municipalities can request action by the Alberta Municipalities:
- Resolutions submitted for consideration at Alberta Municipalities' annual Convention
- Requests for Decisions (RFDs)
- Other opportunities (Letters, emails, contact, etc.)
Resolutions are one way that the Alberta Municipalities' Board or members can propose actions or policies for our membership to consider. Resolutions that are passed by members set the direction for Alberta Municipalities' advocacy efforts over the next three years.
Alberta Municipalities' Resolutions Policy outlines the formal process for submitting, reviewing, publishing, debating, amending, and voting on resolutions. This year, the deadline for submitting a resolution along with proof of council approval to resolutions [at] abmunis.ca is May 31. Alberta Municipalities has developed a guide and template to help municipalities with the resolutions process. Municipalities are encouraged to reach out to ABmunis staff early in the process for assistance in reviewing draft resolution by emailing resolutions [at] abmunis.ca.
After resolutions are submitted, Alberta Municipalities' Municipal Governance Committee reviews and categorizes them. The committee also identifies any deficiencies and analyzes how the proposed resolutions align with existing Alberta Municipalities policies. Deficiencies refer to issues such as unclear or incorrect statements as outlined in section 23 of the Resolutions Policy. Alberta Municipalities administration then works with the sponsoring municipality to address these deficiencies.
The final resolutions are then compiled and published in a Resolutions Book that is distributed to members eight weeks prior to Convention. Municipalities are encouraged to carefully review the resolutions and consider which ones they will support.
Section 16 of Alberta Municipalities' Resolution Policy also sets out a process and criteria for municipalities to submit emergent resolutions that deal with matters of an urgent nature arising after the resolution deadline.
Alberta Municipalities holds a resolutions session at each annual Convention where moving municipalities speak to their resolutions and members debate their merit. There is a formal process for amendments, and every elected official in attendance from a Regular Alberta Municipalities member may vote via an electronic voting system.
Most adopted resolutions focus on a request for action by the provincial and/or federal government, and are submitted to the relevant ministries following Convention. Based on the topic of the resolution, the appropriate Alberta Municipalities standing committee reviews the government’s response, and then recommends whether Alberta Municipalities should accept the response or take further action based on a prioritization framework. Alberta Municipalities keeps members up to date on the status of resolutions through the resolutions library. Resolutions are active for three years, and at the end of the three years, Alberta Municipalities informs the sponsoring municipality of the resolution’s outcome.
Resolutions tend to have a higher profile than RFDs, because they are discussed at annual Conventions, which have a higher member turnout than Municipal Leaders’ Caucus, and also because of the formal process involved in their adoption and implementation.
Requests for Decisions (RFDs)
Member RFDs at Spring Municipal Leaders’ Caucus (MLC) enable municipalities to bring forward emerging issues that cannot wait to be debated at Convention. While RFDs also allow the Alberta Municipalities Board and members to propose actions or policies for membership to consider, the RFD process is less formal than the resolutions process.
The process for RFDs is outlined in Alberta Municipalities' MLC Policy. Alberta Municipalities has developed a RFD Template which members can fill out and submit along with proof of council endorsement to advocacy [at] abmunis.ca, a few weeks before the Caucus. The date of each year’s Spring Municipal Leaders Caucus and the RFD deadline are announced through The Weekly newsletter and posted on Alberta Municipalities' events page.
RFDs are generally shared with members via our newsletter one week before Caucus. At Caucus, the sponsoring municipality speaks to its RFD, and members in attendance are then invited to share their views and ask questions. The sponsor may agree to revise the originally proposed action as a result of the discussion. The sponsor may agree to revise the originally proposed action as a result of the discussion. Elected Officials of Regular Member municipalities who are registered to attend MLC are eligible to vote.
Approved resolutions are assigned to one of Alberta Municipalities' standing committees, which then makes recommendations to the Alberta Municipalities Board on next steps. Alberta Municipalities provides updates on RFD outcomes through our weekly newsletter.
One of the key differences between resolutions and RFDs is that Alberta Municipalities has more flexibility in terms of the action it takes on adopted RFDs, and unlike resolutions, can modify the recommended action or request before submitting it to the province or federal government for a response.
There are a variety of other methods that Alberta Municipalities' members can use to bring an issue to Alberta Municipalities' attention and/or to request action by the association:
- Send a letter to Alberta Municipalities' Board care of president [at] abmunis.ca
- Reach out to your Board member
- Raise the issue at one of the many events that Alberta Municipalities hosts throughout the year.
While Alberta Municipalities does not have the capacity to act on every issue, we always like to hear from members about topics that are important to you.
If you are not sure how to proceed, reach out to advocacy [at] abmunis.ca. Advocacy staff can let you know what Alberta Municipalities may already be doing to address an issue or which option for requesting action may be best.