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RMA: Government of Alberta ICF and IDP Workshop

If you have not yet attended the Government of Alberta ICF and IDP workshop, this is what you need to know

  • The Government of Alberta is creating an electronic fillable document to be used when submitting ICFs or IDPs to Municipal Affairs. The document and system to support submissions is not yet complete but Municipal Affairs may be reaching out to municipalities who submit ICFs or IDPs early for feedback to make the submission as easy and user-friendly as possible.
  • The Minister of Municipal Affairs will be making a determination on the policy that supports both exemptions and extensions as these are both allowed under the legislation. Details will be forthcoming.
  • The requirement for ICFs and IDPs under the Municipal Government Act (MGA) are only applicable for municipalities that share a common land boundary, which has been a point of pause as municipalities begin to have conversations with their regional neighbours. If you are unsure about who your neighbours are, contact the Municipal Sustainability team at:
    • Email:
    • Phone Number: 780-427-2225 and ask for the Planning department as the Planning Advisors are knowledgeable and will be able to help

  • ICFs must include details on how the municipalities will address the following services: transportation, water and wastewater, solid waste, emergency services, and recreation. Any other services that benefit residents in more than one of the municipalities should be included as part of the framework
  • Information will be provided by Municipal Affairs on how to partner with your neighbouring Indigenous communities. Although these conversations are not required, many municipalities would like to be more inclusive.
  • There are several grants available through Municipal Affairs to contribute to the costs associated with developing an ICF or IDP:
    • The Alberta Community Partnership funding supports municipalities in resolving conflicts with their neighbours, building capacity through municipal internships, and finding more efficient and effective ways to deliver regional services.
    • The 2018/19 ACP program guidelines and application form have been posted on the program website and is now accepting applications for the Intermunicipal Collaboration (IC), Mediation and Cooperative Processes (MCP), Municipal Restructuring (MR), Municipal Internship (MI) and Local Land Use Planning (LLUP) components.
    • It is encouraged that the applying municipality have a conversation with their partnering municipality before applying so the application is wholesome and not duplicative.
    • These grants are also available for Metis Settlements.
    • There is only a limited pool of money, so applications should outline what the grant will support and its application (e.g. capacity issues, multi-parties)
  • There is a difference between mediation and arbitration as it relates to the ICF and IDP process.
    • The Municipal Affairs website currently has a list of mediators, some of whom are also arbitrators. An arbitrator list is in the process of being created.
    • Arbitration will be mandatory, at cost to the municipality, if the ICF or IDP is not submitted by March 31, 2020. If the municipalities cannot choose an arbitrator, one will be selected for them. As this is a Quasi-judicial process, the result will be the arbitrator determining the solution.

The RMA, in partnership with Municipal Affairs, and the AUMA developed a Guidebook to help municipalities navigate the development and implementation of their ICF/IDP(s). To access the guidebook, click here. The toolkit is intended to guide municipalities through the legislative process and help start the conversations but ultimately the work of collaboration and documenting the agreements fall under the responsibility of the municipality.

For more information, click here.