Ability to initiate recall petitions for elected officials effective April 22, 2023
In 2022, the Government of Alberta amended the Municipal Government Act (MGA) to include provisions related to the recall of an elected official. The recall legislation allows eligible electors (defined by the Local Authorities Election Act) to file petitions to recall (or remove) elected officials including members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs), municipal officials (mayor and councillors) and school board trustees during the term they are currently serving in that role.
Under the MGA, the recall of an elected official becomes an option 18 months after the respective provincial, municipal, or school board election. Based on the date of Calgary’s last municipal election, a recall process for this current term of Council can be initiated at any time between April 22, 2023, to Dec. 31, 2024, during business hours.
“Elections Calgary is following the legislative process set out in the MGA to prepare for eligible electors who choose to initiate a recall petition,” says Kate Martin, City Clerk. “The City’s role in this process is to ensure we are ready for recall petitions, including receiving, verifying and making a declaration of results.”
- Recall petitions are governed by the Municipal Government Act.
- A municipality may not pass a bylaw that modifies the requirements of a recall petition outlined in Part 7.1 of the Municipal Government Act.
- Only electors who are eligible to vote in an election under the Local Authorities Election Act for a councillor or mayor may sign a recall petition with respect to that sitting councillor or mayor.
- After a notice has been verified, the representative recall petitioner has 60 days to gather signatures.
- The recall petition must be signed by at least 40 per cent of the population of the ward in issue (or of the municipality itself in the case of the mayor).
- A Member of Council may not submit a notice of recall petition in respect of another Member of Council in the same municipality.
- A notice of recall petition may only be submitted once per Member of Council in a term.
- Personal information contained in a recall petition must not be disclosed to anyone except the City Manager and the City Manager’s delegates and must not be used for any purpose other than validating the petition.
- If the recall petition for an elected municipal official is successful, the position is declared vacant at the next council meeting once the declaration of the sufficient petition has been made.
- If a Member of Council is recalled, a by-election will be called to fill the vacant seat (position is left vacant if the declaration is made within 18 months of a general election).
For more information on how The City will conduct the petition verification process, visit Recall petitions for Calgary City Council. For more information on the governing legislation, please contact Municipal Affairs at (780) 427-2225 (or toll-free by first dialing 310-0000) or email firstname.lastname@example.org.