Appeals & Tribunals plan and budget
This service provides an impartial, open, and transparent process for citizens and businesses to challenge property and business assessments, decisions of the development and subdivision authorities, and other decisions made by The City of Calgary with respect to licences and community standards.
The Appeals & Tribunals service supports governance, administration and operations of The City's tribunals:
- Citizen, business, and community appellants
- Legal representatives/professional agents
- Assessment and Taxation business unit
- Community Planning business unit
- Calgary Community Standards business unit
- Calgary Assessment Review Board
- Calgary Subdivision and Development Appeal Board
- Calgary Licence and Community Standards Appeal Board
- Law department
- Customer Service and Communications business unit
- Information Technology business unit
- Alberta Land and Property Rights Tribunal
- External legal counsel
Value to Calgarians
- establish and support tribunals to hear appeals and complaints from businesses, citizens and communities
- empowers the public to present their concerns and be heard
- procedural fairness and natural justice are ensured
- supports public trust and confidence in the appeal and complaint process
What we deliver
A process for citizens, businesses, and communities to be heard when they disagree with certain decisions made by The City's Administration.
service plan budget
|Appeals & Tribunals|
Expected 2026 performance.
Decision Timeliness Rate - decisions rendered on-time
2021 was 86%
Hearing participants' rate of satisfaction with process information
2021 was 76%
Assessment Review Board decision publication on-time rate
2021 was 97%
Cases filled with a tribunal on which a decision is issued
2021 was 20%
Tribunal decisions that are overturned by an appeal body in a calendar year
2021 was 0.002%
What we've heard
Public engagement and research indicates that tribunals and appeal processes need to be convenient, responsive, legislatively compliant and informative. Access to justice must be impartial, fair and transparent, through the consistent application of rules and availability of information. The process for appeals needs to be as simple as possible, and continue to be affordable. There must be continual improvement of efficiency and transparency.
Complainants want to continue to be able to participate in tribunal hearings virtually. For 2022 Assessment Review Board hearings, for example, videoconference, teleconference, and written hearings were preferred by complainants in 83 per cent of cases.
What we're watching
- Complaint settlements – High rates of withdrawn appeals introduce volatility to hearing scheduling and questions about how to best resource tribunals and retain tribunal members
- Virtual hearings – Appellants prefer the convenience of virtual hearings, which contributes to efficiency, but also creates challenges to engaging tribunal members, and to ensure fairness for those without access to technology.
- Obstacles to justice access – Lower service demand means we need to better understand what, if any, barriers citizens face in accessing justice, including social equity considerations.
- Governance and innovation – Tribunal modernization means respecting independence while ensuring tribunals are structured, empowered and accountable for efficiency and effectiveness, and considering new processes and technologies to better serve citizens.
- Justice modernization – Pressures on the Canadian justice system have resulted in less serious matters being transferred to tribunals.
What we plan to do
We will continue to support the administration of justice and provide participants with fair, affordable and accessible options to challenge specific City of Calgary decisions.
How we're going to get there
- Increase efficiency and adjust to varying volumes of appeals across all boards by training all tribunal clerks to support all three tribunals, rather than the specific-to-a-tribunal training approach that has been used historically.
- Reduce barriers to participation and improve access to justice by investigating, planning and potentially expanding communication and outreach activities.
- Adhere to legislative requirements and provide timely service to Calgarians by continuing to render and publish adjudicative decisions within the specified timeframes.
- Provide an improved public user experience by upgrading the Assessment Review Board's file management software.
- Ensure accessible processes by providing multiple channels for parties to file complaints and/or appeals, including in-person, online, mail, email and secure physical drop box.