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Municipal Government

Citizens of counties, towns, and cities elect representatives to be responsible for municipal, or local, government.  The elected representatives of counties and other rural bodies, such as improvement districts, are called reeves (the heads) and councillors.  People elected to run towns and cities are called mayors (the heads) and aldermen and/or councillors.  In both cases, the group together is called a council, and by "local government," we mean the various councils.  Councillors may belong to political parties, but they do not represent a party when they run for election.  Also, unlike the Prime Ministers or Premiers, reeves and mayors are elected directly to their positions.

Each provincial Legislature decides what local governments are responsible for.  Usually they are given authority in matters such as local fire and police services, libraries, transportation within the municipality or county, local health issues, pest control, and so on.  Municipal governments may pass laws governing these areas, and these laws are called bylaws.









Voices of Politics
The Honourable David Crombie and elementary students realize the importance of services provided by municipal governments. He then discusses the origin and expansion of provincial and local government responsibilities.
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Reprinted from Teacher's Guide to the Alberta Legislature, 1993 with permission from the Legislative Assembly Office.

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