Petition compliance is undertaken by Elections Calgary. 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 information on petitions to recall elected officials, see recall petitions.
Petitions must meet certain requirements to be considered sufficient (i.e. it meets the statutory requirements). These requirements are laid out in the Municipal Government Act.
- Must be signed by electors of the municipality equal in number to at least 10% of the population. An elector:
- is at least 18 years old,
- is a Canadian citizen, and
- 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 Section 221 - 226, 232 and 234 of the Municipal Government Act.
Prior to collecting signatures for a petition, petitioners are strongly encouraged to review the legislation to ensure the petition meets all of the legislative requirements.
Elections Calgary may consider the following matters to ensure that the petition meets the legislative rules.
Electors may petition for a new bylaw, or a bylaw to amend or repeal an existing bylaw. The subject matter of the bylaw can be anything within Council’s power, except for matters falling under these parts of the Municipal Government Act:
- Financial Matters (Part 8)
- Assessment of Property (Part 9)
- Taxation (Part 10)
- Sustainable Development (Part 17)
If the subject matter of a petition is one of these matters, a vote on the bylaw requested by the petitioners is not required.
If the bylaw requested in the petition is a bylaw amending or repealing an existing City bylaw or resolution, the petition seeking repeal or amendment of that bylaw must be filed with Elections Calgary within 60 days of the date on which the bylaw or resolution was passed by Council.
If the petition is presented later than 60 days after Council made its decision to pass the bylaw or resolution, a vote on the requested bylaw is not required.
Every page of a petition must have the same “purpose statement,” which sets out what bylaw the petitioners are asking Council to put to a vote.
People allowed to sign the petition
Only electors may sign the petition as described above.
Information electors have to provide on the petition
Every elector signing the petition must provide the following information:
- The correct municipal address or legal description of the property where the elector resides. Business addresses or fictional addresses do not meet the requirement.
- The date on which the petition was signed.
- The elector's signature.
- A printed version of the elector's name.
If the elector signing the petition does not provide this information, the signature cannot be counted. An elector cannot sign for any other person.
Every signature on the petition must be witnessed by an adult person. The witness must sign the document next to the name of the elector whose signature is being witnessed.
The witness must swear an affidavit stating they believe that the elector who signed the petition was entitled to sign the petition.
Dates signatures collected
The only signatures that can be counted are ones collected 60 days or sooner from the date on which the petitioner delivered the petition to Elections Calgary.
Number of signatures
The petitioner must obtain enough signatures from electors to equal 10% of the City’s population. The City’s population is determined by the City’s most recent civic census. Based on the most recent civic census (2019), 10% of the City’s population is 128,571.
The only names on the petition that can be counted are ones that:
- were collected 60 days prior to the date when the petition was delivered to Elections Calgary,
- appear on a page with the purpose statement,
- include the elector’s printed name, residential address (or legal description for the residence), signature and the date the elector signed the petition,
- are witnessed, and
- have affidavits from the witnesses properly sworn before someone legally entitled to commission affidavits in Alberta.
The representative of the petitioners must also sign the petition declaring that they are the representative of the petitioners for all purposes.
Submit your petition
When a petition is complete, petitioners should contact Elections Calgary to arrange a time to deliver the petition.
The Municipal Government Act requires Elections Calgary to review the petition and count the valid signatures. Within 30 days of receiving the petition, the City Manager must declare whether the petition contains sufficient names to require a public vote on a bylaw.
In order to determine whether the petition requires Council to put a bylaw to a public vote, Elections Calgary will follow the rules in the Municipal Government Act.