Elections Calgary

Recall petitions for Calgary City Council

Alberta's Municipal Government Act (MGA) lets citizens recall a Council member through a recall petition process.

For the current term of Council, a notice of recall petition may be submitted from 8:30 a.m. Monday, April 24, 2023, through 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2024.

How to sign a recall petition

To sign a recall petition, contact the representative recall petitioner listed on active recall petitions.

The City of Calgary is not involved in collecting signatures for petitions.

Process overview


In-person meeting available

Before submitting a notice of recall petition, an in-person appointment can be made to meet with Elections Calgary staff about the Notice of Recall Petition, signed statement requirements, and the recall petition process. To set up an appointment, contact Elections Calgary

Step 1 - Submit notice of recall petition


Who can submit a notice of recall petition?

To submit a notice of recall petition, an individual must be eligible to vote for the Member of Council a recall petition relates to.

How do I apply?

To begin a recall petition, you must first submit a notice of recall petition.

A notice of recall petition must be submitted to Elections Calgary and must:

  • identify by name the Member of Council to whom the recall petition relates to,
  • identify by name the representative recall petitioner (the individual submitting the notice of recall petition) by name, and
  • confirm that the municipality may direct any inquiries about the petition to the representative recall petitioner, and indicate the contact information is to be used for this purpose.

A notice of recall petition must also be accompanied by a statement signed by the representative recall petitioner that:

  • provides the street address of the representative recall petitioner or the legal description of the land on which the representative recall petitioner lives,
  • the representative recall petitioner’s mailing address, if different,
  • the representative recall petitioner’s telephone number or email address, if any,
  • confirms that the representative recall petitioner is an individual eligible to sign the recall petition and consents to the responsibilities of leading the recall petition, gathering signatures, and otherwise undertaking the role and discharging the duties of a representative recall petitioner, and
  • has a $500 application fee, paid by cash, a cheque and/or a bank or postal money order made payable to “City of Calgary."

You may submit your original signed notice of recall petition to the Elections Calgary office by mail, in-person or email petitions@calgary.ca

For contact information, see contact Elections Calgary

FAQ for submiting notice of recall petition

When can an application be made?

A representative recall petitioner may not submit a notice of recall petition:

  • within the 18-month period immediately following the day on which the Member of Council named in the notice of recall petition was elected, or
  • within the period commencing on Jan. 1 of the year of Calgary’s General Election.

For the current term of Council, a notice of recall petition may be submitted from 8:30 a.m. Monday, April 24, 2023, through 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2024.

If Elections Calgary publishes a notice of recall petition in respect of a Member of Council, Elections Calgary must not publish any further recall petition in relation to the same Councillor during the same term of office.

How do I start a recall petition?

To begin a recall petition, you must first submit a notice of recall petition.

A notice of recall petition must be submitted to the Elections Calgary and must:

  • identify by name the Member of Council to whom the recall petition relates to,
  • Identify by name the representative recall petitioner (the individual submitting the notice of recall petition), and
  • confirm that the municipality may direct any inquiries about the petition to the representative recall petitioner, and indicate their contact information is to be used for this purpose.

A notice of recall petition must also be accompanied by a statement signed by the person submitting a notice of recall petition (the representative recall petitioner), that:

  • provides the street address of the representative recall petitioner or the legal description of the land on which the representative recall petitioner lives,
  • provides the representative recall petitioner’s mailing address, if different,
  • provides the representative recall petitioner’s telephone number or email address, if any,
  • confirms that the representative recall petitioner is an individual eligible to sign the recall petition and consents to the responsibilities of leading the recall petition, gathering signatures, and otherwise undertaking the role and duties of a representative recall petitioner, and
  • has a $500 application fee, paid by cash, a certified cheque and/or a bank or postal money order made payable to “City of Calgary.”

Can I submit the notice of recall petition by email?

The Notice of Recall Petition and signed statement can be submitted electronically to petitions@calgary.ca. Also, you may submit your original signed notice of recall petition to the Elections Calgary office by mail or in-person.

See Contact Elections Calgary for contact information.

What happens if more than one notice of recall petition is submitted for the same Member of Council?

Once a recall petition notice has been received, verified and published, no additional recall petitions in relation to the same Member of Council can be submitted during this term of office. Notice of recall petitions are received on a first-come first-served basis.

Can a group or an organization submit a notice of recall petition?

No. Only an individual person, who meets the legislated criteria, can submit a notice of recall petition. This person is referred to as the representative recall petitioner.

Is the $500 application fee refundable?

No. The $500 application fee is non-refundable.

Can there be multiple recall petitions against the same elected official?

No. Only one notice of recall petition can be accepted for the same elected official in the same term of office.

Step 2 - Notice verification by Elections Calgary


Elections Calgary verifies the notice of recall petition and notifies representative recall petitioner when successfully verified.

View list of active recall petitions.

Step 3 - Signature collection for 60-day period


What are the requirements for collecting signatures?

Once the notice of recall petition has been deemed compliant by Elections Calgary and posted on this website the representative recall petitioner has 60 days to collect signatures and submit their recall petition. For a sample template of a recall petition please see the Recall of a municipal councillor handbook from Alberta Municipal Affairs.

Note: the Representative Recall Petitioner must ensure the petition is submitted in compliance with Sections 240.5 and 240.6 of the Municipal Government Act. See details on verification process.

Only an individual who is eligible to vote under the Local Authorities Election Act for the Member of Council the recall petition relates to may sign a recall petition for that Member of Council.

An individual may only sign a recall petition once.

Signatures collected must be done on one or more pages, each of which must contain the notice of recall petition.

A petitioner signing a recall petition must provide:

  • their printed surname (last name) and printed given names (first name) or initials,
  • their signature,
  • the street address or the legal description of the land on which the petitioner lives,
  • telephone number or email address, if any, and
  • the date on which the recall petition was signed.

Each signature must be witnessed by a person 18 years of age or older who must:

  • sign opposite to the signature of the petitioner, and
  • make an affidavit that to the best of their knowledge, the signatures witnessed are those of individuals who are eligible to sign the petition.

Additional requirements

All signatures must be original signatures (no duplicate signatures) and no digital or online signatures will be accepted.

For the petition to be successful, the representative recall petitioner must collect signatures from at least 40 per cent of the population within the ward (or city for the recall of a mayor). As per Ministerial Order MSD:021/23 Elections Calgary will use the 2019 Municipal Affairs Population List data.

The table below outlines the population and 40 per cent threshold a recall petition will be measured against for each ward and the entire city.

Population 40% threshold
Ward Population Number of signatures needed
1          89,254                     35,702
2          92,115                     36,846
3          81,482                          32,593
4          89,707 35,883
5          95,717                      38,287
6          98,601                          39,441
7          84,399 33,760
8          95,687                           38,275
9          88,049                             35,220
10          92,901                            37,161
11        105,331 42,133
12          96,167                                 38,467
13          91,235                              36,494
14          85,066 34,027
City-wide     1,285,711                          514,284

Data Source: 2019 Municipal Affairs Population List

FAQ for collecting signatures

Can the representative recall petitioner be changed during the 60-day signature collection period?

No. If the representative recall petitioner is unable to continue gathering signatures throughout the 60-day signature collection period, the representative recall petitioner should advise Elections Calgary.

Do I need to register with Elections Calgary to volunteer to collect signatures?

No.

Do I need to be eligible to vote for the elected official named in a notice of recall petition to canvass or volunteer?

No. However, if a canvasser/volunteer is acting as the witness they must be an adult person (18 years of age or over) at the time of witnessing.

Do I have a right of access to dwellings with multiple units to collect signatures?

No. There is no legislative right of access to multi-residential dwellings or multiple dwelling units to collect signatures. 

The Representative Recall Petitioner is encouraged to contact the owners and/or operators of the facilities to learn more about their usage policies or bylaws.

Do I have a right of access to malls and recreation centres, etc. to collect signatures?

No. There is no legislative right of access to malls and recreation centres or multiple dwelling units to collect signatures. 

The Representative Recall Petitioner is encouraged to contact the owners and/or operators of the facilities to learn more about their usage policies or bylaws.

Can I leave petition sheets on a counter or table for customers to sign?

No. Petition sheets should not be left unattended. Each signature must be witnessed by an adult person (18 years of age or over) who has signed an attached affidavit.

If I am a volunteer, can I sign and witness my own signature on a petition sheet?

No. You cannot witness your own signature on a recall petition.

Who can witness a recall petition signature?

Each signature must be witnessed by a person 18 years of age or older who must:

  • sign opposite to the signature of the petitioner, and
  • make an affidavit that to the best of their knowledge, the signatures witnessed are those of individuals who are eligible to sign the petition.

Step 4 - Submit completed petition to Elections Calgary


FAQ for collecting signatures

How must a recall petition be submitted?

The representative recall petitioner (the person who is collecting signatures for their petition) can submit the petition to Elections Calgary by mail, courier or in-person, but must meet the following rules:

  • Submit the entire recall petition at one time. No late submissions or partial submissions will be accepted.
  • Submit only the original signed petition sheets. Photocopies and faxes of signed petition sheets will not be counted.
  • Submit all of the original signed petition sheets, regardless of whether sufficient signatures have been collected.
  • All petition sheets must be received at Elections Calgary by 4:30 p.m. on the 60th day of the signature collection period.

If the 60th day of the 60-day signature collection period falls on a weekend or non-business day, the final day to submit a completed recall petition will be extended to the next business day. For a sample template of a recall petition please see the Recall of a municipal councillor handbook from Alberta Municipal Affairs.

See Contact Elections Calgary for more contact information.

What happens if a petition is submitted early?

The verification period begins as soon as a petition is submitted. If the representative recall petitioner submits a petition before the end of the 60-day signature collection period, they cannot continue to collect and submit signatures.

What do I include when submitting a completed recall petition?

A completed recall petition must be submitted to the Elections Calgary and must have:

  • all completed petition sheets, and
  • signed affidavits from adult witnesses.

Step 5 - Petition verified sufficient or insufficient


FAQ for petition verification

How does the verification process work?

Elections Calgary will verify the petition within 45 days of the date the petition was submitted.

Elections Calgary will first count and verify that signatures total at least 40 per cent of the population in the Ward or Municipality.

Next, Elections Calgary will use a random statistical sampling method with a 95 per cent confidence level to determine the sufficiency of the petition. The verification process includes:

  • confirmation that each page of the recall petition contains the notice of recall petition,
  • confirmation that only original signatures have been collected,
  • a review of each signature line to ensure that the required information was provided (name, physical address, contact information, date, signature), and
  • confirmation that each signature has an accompanying signature from an adult witness, that to the best of their knowledge the person they are witnessing signing a recall petition is eligible to do so, and that the witness signed the required affidavit.

Incomplete or invalid signatures are screened out and are not included in the final count. If it becomes clear during any part of the verification process the final count will not meet the 40 per cent threshold, no further verification is done.

How are duplicate signatures dealt with?

Eligible electors may only sign a recall petition once. Elections Calgary will be checking for duplicates as part of the verification process. Duplicate signatures will not be counted.

Does the representative recall petitioner or Member of Council named in the notice of recall petition view or scrutinize the verification process?

No. There is no provision in the MGA for individuals to observe or scrutinize the verification process.

Step 6 - Petition verification results published


What happens if a recall petition meets all legislated requirements?

If a recall petition is declared to be sufficient, the following will take place:

  • A declaration as to the sufficiency of the recall petition at a Special Meeting of Council and the Member of Council will be recalled.
  • Elections Calgary will publish the declaration of sufficiency online.
  • The declaration of sufficiency will be provided to the Minister of Municipal Affairs, the representative recall petitioner, and the Member of Council named in the notice of recall petition.

Following a successful recall petition, on the making of the declaration of sufficiency the Member of Council is recalled, and a by-election may be triggered for that respective ward or for the entire city, as necessary.

Contact information


If you have additional questions about petitions, contact Elections Calgary.

 


Note: The information on this website is provided for the convenience of reference only. Recall petitions are subject to further requirements in the Municipal Government Act (MGA). Those who wish to submit a recall petition are advised to refer to the MGA regarding the full extent of requirements and obligations.

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