Transition Timelines - Municipal Government Act

Some provisions of the Municipal Government Act (MGA) provide dates or deadlines to meet different requirements. The MGA will not come into effect until it is proclaimed. Some of the dates in the Act have been revised to reflect feedback we received during the consultations. The timelines presented below assume that the MGA will be proclaimed in 2017 and our Transition Timelines at a Glance (revised) document provides a summary of the information.

What changes take effect when the MGA is proclaimed?

As soon as the Act is proclaimed municipalities will have to ensure:

  • They follow the new conflict of interest standards;
  • They prepare for new content and process requirements for their 2018 budget;
  • That council members are not fulfilling duties of employees;
  • That a municipal office is designated; and
  • They budget for an audit or if their budgeted expenditures are less than $50,000, a review engagement.

Anything else that is not explicitly transitioned, will come into effect as soon as the Act is proclaimed. However, there will be no change to the fiscal year for municipalities in 2017: it will remain as January 1, 2017, to December 31, 2017.

What is required within one year of the MGA being proclaimed?

Assuming the MGA is proclaimed in 2017, there will be a number of changes and requirements that will take effect in 2018:

  • There will be a 15 month fiscal year running from January 1, 2018, to March 31, 2019;
  • Municipalities will need to adopt, by resolution, an operating budget and a capital budget for the fiscal year on or before March 31, 2018;
  • A voters' list must be prepared by municipalities no later than July 30, 2018;
  • Municipalities will need to have their election procedures in place;
  • Council sizes are to comply with those listed in the MGA as of the 2018 election - current members of council continue in place until the next council takes office in December, 2018.

There are also a number of bylaws that are required to be in place within 12 months of the MGA taking effect. These bylaws, which may be subject to regulation, are:

  • An access to information and protection of privacy bylaw;
  • A conflict of interest bylaw;
  • A code of conduct bylaw for council;
  • A code of conduct policy for employees;
  • A records retention and disposition bylaw;
  • A procedural bylaw.

What are the longer term timelines?

The main changes for municipalities 2019, assuming the MGA is proclaimed in 2017, are related to finances. Starting in 2019, the fiscal year for municipalities will run from April 1 of the current to March 31 of the next. This will align the fiscal year of municipalities with that of the Province.

Three years after the MGA is proclaimed, municipalities will be required to have an approved emergency management program in place. Additionally, all municipalities will be required to have a full financial audit each year.

Five years after the MGA is proclaimed, municipalities will need to have land use plans and supporting bylaws in place and are required to have a municipal office that is accessible to all members of the public open for a minimum of 20 hours per week. 

Note: This document has been prepared by the Municipal Affairs Section of the Department of Communities, Land and Environment for general information purposes. This document should not be relied upon as a substitute for specialized legal or professional advice. 
Published date: 
January 6, 2017
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