Elections Calgary


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 on topics within their jurisdiction. See What can be petitioned?

Petition requirements

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.

  • Petitioners must be eligible to vote (an elector) in Calgary.
  • An elector:
    • is at least 18 years old,
    • is a Canadian citizen, and
    • resides in Calgary when they signed the petition.
  • The number of petitioner signatures must equal in number to at least 10% of the population as reported by the 2023 Municipal Affairs Population List (MAPL).
  • Each petitioner who signs the petition must include:
    • Printed first and last name
    • Signature
    • Street address or legal description where the petitioner lives
    • Telephone number or email address, if any
    • Date on which the petitioner signed
    • Witness signature opposite the signature of the petitioner. Each witness must have sworn an affidavit, which must be attached to the petition.
  • The petition must be received by The City within the timeframe set out in the MGA:
    • For advertised bylaws and resolutions under Part 8 Financial Administration, the petition must be filed within 15 days after the last date on which the proposed bylaw or resolution is advertised. (sec. 231)
    • For advertised bylaws and resolutions by any other Part of the MGA, the petition must be filed within 60 days after the last date on which the proposed bylaw is advertised.  (sec. 231)
    • For new bylaws or a bylaw to amend or repeal a bylaw or resolution, the petition must be filed within 60 days after the day on which that bylaw or resolution was passed by Council. (sec. 233)
  • Each page of the petition must contain an identical statement of the purpose of the petition.
  • A signed representative statement, which states who the representative of the petition is and that any inquiries about the petition can be directed to this individual.

Prior to collecting signatures for a petition, you are strongly encouraged to review the Municipal Government Act to ensure the petition meets all of the legislative requirements.

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 number of signatures), it then will be treated as Council correspondence.

The correspondence will be presented to the City Clerk’s Office. 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 respond to Council correspondence; however, it will bring your concerns to the attention of all members of City Council.

Contact your Ward Councillor

Petition considerations

Elections Calgary may consider the following matters to ensure that the petition meets the legislative rules.

What can be petitioned?

You may petition City Council to hold a Vote of Electors (i.e. a plebiscite) on a topic within Council’s power.

You may also petition on:

  • Advertised bylaws or resolutions.
  • New bylaws.
  • Bylaws to amend or repeal a bylaw or resolution.

However, petitions for new bylaws and bylaws to amend or repeal a bylaw or resolution have no effect on the following areas of the MGA:

  • Financial Matters (Part 8)
  • Assessment of Property (Part 9)
  • Taxation (Part 10)
  • Planning and Development (Part 17)
  • Intermunicipal collaboration (Part 17.2)

Purpose statement

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.

Who can sign a petition?

 Only electors in Calgary may sign a petition. An elector is individual who is eligible to vote and must be:

  • is at least 18 years old,
  • is a Canadian citizen, and
  • resides in Calgary when they signed the petition. 

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.

Witness obligations

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 number of petitioner signatures must equal in number to at least 10% of the population of Calgary. The city’s population may be determined by the Minister of Municipal Affairs.

The only names on the petition that can be counted are ones that:

  • were collected during the 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.

Representative statement

The representative of the petitioners (the petition organizer) must also sign the petition declaring that they are the representative of the petition and any inquiries about the petition can be directed to them.

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.

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

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