Expanded Jurisdiction Over Municipalities Takes Effect

EDMONTON – Marianne Ryan, Alberta’s ninth Ombudsman, welcomes legislative changes that expand her office’s jurisdiction to include municipalities.

Final amendments to the Municipal Government Act, proclaimed October 26, 2017, set forth important changes to the Ombudsman Act, the legislation that calls into force the office of the Ombudsman and sets out the powers, duties and functions therein. The updated legislation takes effect April 1, 2018 and includes ‘municipalities’ to the jurisdiction, alongside Alberta government departments, designated professional organizations and the Patient Concerns Resolution Process of Alberta Health Services.

Ted Miles, Deputy Ombudsman, advises, “The amendments to the Municipal Government Act now allows the Ombudsman’s office to investigate complaints of administrative unfairness in municipal governance. This will be a new challenge for us but we look forward to working with both complainants and municipalities to ensure a balanced and unbiased examination of administrative decisions occurs. Although the legislation only comes into effect April 1st, we have been working for months in the background with Alberta Municipal Affairs and many of the municipal CAOs across the province advancing our understanding of their processes. We are excited about serving Albertans and Alberta communities in this new role and would encourage people to check our website for further information if they are interested.”