38th Annual Central Municipal Law Seminar


Coming to three cities in February and March, our Municipal Law Seminars will feature sessions from our industry leaders on timely issues and trends facing municipalities in Alberta.

Our 38th Annual Central Municipal Law Seminar will take place in-person on Friday, February 10, 2023 in Edmonton.

Topics at this year’s seminar will include topics such as

Demystifying the Litigation Process: it’s not like what you see on TV

Learn what to expect when you face, or think about starting, a lawsuit. In this session, our team of lawyers will break down concepts around the court process and dive into costs awards and risks, questioning, timelines, and the difference between Chambers vs. Special Chambers vs. Trials.

Hearing Problems? Navigating Public Hearings under the Municipal Government Act

The Municipal Government Act requires municipalities to conduct public hearings in a number of circumstances. Navigating the procedural requirements set out in the legislation, and additional requirements that have been imposed by the Courts, can present a number of challenges for both administration and council. This session will explore the legal requirements and best practices for public hearings, with reference to case law. Topics will include when a public hearing is required, advertising and notice requirements, conduct of public hearings, the duty of procedural fairness, and challenges to public hearing procedures.

Options for enforcing property tax arrears on linear property

In December 2021, the Government of Alberta enacted various amendments to Parts 9 and 10 of the MGA, dealing with non-payment of property taxes on linear property and machinery and equipment. The key changes included: making operators and owners responsible for tax arrears; securing property taxes on linear property with a special lien; making this special lien retroactive, so it secured all arrears existing as of December 2021; providing for a 120-day redemption period for goods subject to the distress remedy under the MGA for taxes not related to land.

This session will provide an overview of the lessons learned since these amendments were made, and emerging best practices for making the most out of the new municipal enforcement options for tax arrears on linear property and machinery and equipment.

Employment Potpourri 2023

An update on the trials and tribulations of workplace issues of interest to municipalities, including:

  • Harassment/bullying;
  • New WCB policy on medical cannabis;
  • Post-incident and random drug testing;
  • Vicarious liability for privacy breaches;
  • Dealing with long-term disability cases and avoiding human rights complaints; and
  • Sick leave abuse.

As the law changes, so should your standard form contracts

In this session, we will discuss recent legal changes which may impact the interpretation, validity and enforceability of common terms found in standard construction contracts. We will then provide advice and recommendations for updating your standard form construction contracts. This session will review both common law and legislative changes, including the new provisions of the Prompt Payment and Construction Lien Act.

LPRT – The Newest Acronym on the Municipal Block

It has been about a year now that the Land and Property Rights Tribunal (the “LPRT”) replaced the Municipal Government Board, the Land Compensation Board, the New Home Buyer Protection Board and the Surface Rights Board. With more subdivision and development appeals headed to the LPRT instead of local Subdivision and Development Appeal Boards, we will cover a wide variety of topics, including the critical impacts on municipalities, what you can expect in terms of timing and expense, and how best to navigate the shift toward decision-making at the provincial level.

So, You Think You’re Exempt? Qualifying for Municipal Tax Exemptions

Municipalities frequently receive requests from taxpayers for exemptions from municipal taxation under the MGA and the Community Organizations Property Tax Exemption Regulation (COPTER), and navigating these statutory exemptions can be difficult. This session will provide an overview of the requirements for exemptions from taxation under the MGA and COPTER as they apply to recreational facilities, non-profit organizations, and affordable housing. This session will also cover recent legislative changes pertaining to exemptions, including the 2022 Social and Affordable Housing Accommodation Exemption Regulation.

Bear Pit

Registrants will have the opportunity to submit legal questions on matters affecting municipalities for discussion by our panel of lawyers.

Full agenda and event details will be sent to registrants closer to the event.