Bill 21: Emergency Statutes Amendment Act 

The provincial government tabled Bill 21, the Emergency Statutes Amendment Act, in the Legislature on May 9. The bill streamlines and expands existing powers and authorities used during an emergency under several pieces of legislation.

According to the Government of Alberta’s update on Bill 21, three acts will be amended to give the provincial government more authority during emergencies. The Emergency Management Act, the Water Act and the Forest and Prairie Protection Act will be amended to accommodate this greater scope of provincial power.

Bill 21 will also move the provincial election date from May 2027 to October 2027, a change designed to reduce the chances of a provincial election coinciding with a natural disaster. As a result, amendments are required to the Election Act, Alberta Senate Election Amendment Act and the Election Finances and Contribution Disclosures Act.

Alberta Municipalities supports greater coordination between municipalities and the provincial government during emergencies. It is our hope that these changes will lead to better co-operation and responses to natural disasters which affect multiple jurisdictions.

Our preliminary analysis of Bill 21 will be posted on ABmunis’ website later this week.