What are Municipalities?

We often associate municipalities with our municipal councils and the people who serve as elected officials on those councils.  Municipalities also provide essential-local services such as road maintenance, water and sewer services, and garbage collection.  Municipalities share the characteristics of having land and boundaries, providing residents with ways to make decisions about local issues, and being a focus for community activities. 

There are other forms of local authorities, such as school boards, regional services commissions, and regional health authorities, but the department of Municipal Affairs provides resources and expertise to municipalities and boards and associations that support municipalities. 

The provincial legislation which governs the activities of the municipalities is the Municipal Government Act.  Section 3 states that the purposes of municipalities are:

  • To provide good government.
  • To provide services, facilities or other things that, in the opinion of council, are necessary or desirable for all or a part of the municipality.
  • To develop safe and viable communities.


To read more about municipal government in Alberta, please see the following:

  • Date modified: 2017-04-28