Petitions are used to express public opinion to Calgary City Council. A petition is a written request signed by electors of the City of Calgary, which is presented to City Council. Petitions that meet all legislative requirements can be used to request City Council to hold a Vote of Electors on bylaws.
For advertised bylaws, the advertisement and petition period occur between the first reading of the bylaw and second reading.
Petitions must meet certain requirements to be considered sufficient (i.e. it meets the statutory requirements). These requirements are laid out in the Elections Act.
- Must be signed by 10% of eligible electors. An elector:
- Is at least 18 years old
- Is a Canadian citizen
- Resides in Calgary when he or she signed the petition
- Must be received within the 60-day timeframe (60 days following the second bylaw advertisement)
- Must meet the form set out in the MGA
Additional details on how to submit the petition and the legal requirements can be found on Elections Calgary website.
Petition sufficiency is determined by the chief administrative officer or delegate. The chief administrative officer is the City Manager.
The City Manager (or delegate) must make a declaration to Council within 45 days after the date the petition is received on whether the petition is sufficient or not.
The work of verifying the signatures is done by the City Clerk’s Elections and Census office.
Upon receiving a sufficient petition, Council can either:
- Decide not to proceed with bylaw; or
- Decide to proceed and submit the bylaw to a vote of electors within 90 days after the bylaw has been declared sufficient.
If a sufficient petition is not received, Council may pass the bylaw.
Petitions that do not meet requirements
Council correspondence is also used to express public opinion, or public concern, to City Council. Should a petition be deemed to have not met legislative requirements (such as insufficient signatures), it then becomes Council correspondence.
The correspondence will be presented to the Office of the City Clerk within the timelines set out. The correspondence, or a summary of the correspondence, will be distributed to members of City Council. All information provided on Council, or Committee, correspondence will be publicly available.
City Council is not required to do anything in response to Council correspondence; however, it will bring your concerns to the attention of all members of City Council.