News / Calgary

Municipal Affairs Minister Doug Griffiths confirms four-year terms for municipalities

Alberta municipal councillors will be elected every four years and elections will remain in the spring, Municipal Affairs minister Doug Griffiths confirmed Thursday.

Griffiths has long said he wants the province’s municipal officials to move to four-year terms from the current three, and the province even put out a survey on the issues for regular Albertans and elected officials this summer.

The province also floated the notion of moving the election to the spring, and even extending the terms of current councillors for six months.

Griffiths said people were not warm to that idea.

“The majority of people didn’t have a position either way and, out of the ones that did, the majority said leave it in fall," he said.

Legislation to change the Elections Act has to be introduced this fall, in advance of the vote in 2013. Griffiths said there could be more changes in future, but at this point he wanted to focus only on things that had broad support.

“Everything that we are doing was very firmly approved off and accepted by both the public and the council side," he said.

Edmonton city councillor Kerry Diotte said he supports the move to keep elections in the fall.

“It is good for democracy, because people will be out there and you can engage them on their doorsteps,” he said. “It is a far more productive time of the year."

Diotte said the four-year terms will allow councillors more time to learn their jobs.

“It probably makes more sense that people get a little bit more seasoned.”

Four more years

  • Ontario, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia and parts of Prince Edward Island have four-year terms for their elected officials.
  • The next municipal election will take place on the first Monday in October 2013.
  • Edmonton elects 12 city councillors and one mayor.

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