Empowering Municipalities for Environmental Management

This text is extracted from the Environmental Law Centre’s website;


It is the ELC’s view that municipalities have the potential to play a pivotal role in environmental management and protection in Alberta. Municipalities have the authority to control and regulate many private land uses. As well, municipalities have the responsibility for engaging in local land use planning through the use of statutory plans (for example municipal development plans and area structure plans) and land use by-laws. The ELC would like to see environmental management and protection as a priority in the activities of municipalities.

By way of summary, our recommendations fall into five broad areas:

  1. Protection and management of the environment is a valid municipal planning purpose and, as such, should be expressly recognized in the MGA.
  2. The MGA should incorporate by-law purposes specific to protection and management of the environment.
  3. The MGA should expand the enforcement tools available to municipalities for the purposes of environmental protection and management.
  4. The MGA should expand the revenue generation options available to municipalities to enable environmental stewardship and, particularly, land conservation.
  5. The MGA should enhance opportunities for public participation in municipal planning processes.

Click here to read the full set of recommendations.



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