A motion before Calgary City Hall could allow residents to issue petitions to recall municipal politicians as soon as April 22, 2023. 

The policy, which was devised to meet obligations outlines by Alberta’s Recall Act, would allow Calgarians to launch petitions to have specific City Council members, including the mayor removed from office.

The process would require the filing of a $500 application by organizers of a petition. To successfully recall a politician, 40% of the voter population of a specific ward would be required. 

In the case of removing a mayor, that would mean 40% of the city would have to be a signatory on the petition. 

According to estimates, it will cost between $19,000 to $400,000 for the city to verify petitions. 

“The exact cost to verify a recall petition will vary based on how many petitions are received,” a funding estimate claimed. 

“The range of operating funding is based on the need for additional limited term staff (based on a projected need ranging from three to ten positions) to complete the petition verification process.”

Petitions will be open until Dec. 31, 2024 and petitioners will have 60 days to gather the necessary signatures after their application was approved. 

“If a recall petition for an elected municipal official is successful, the position is declared vacant at the next Council Meeting once the declaration of the sufficient petition has been made, and a by-election may be required,” Calgary’s Recall Petition Overview report states. 

The Recall Act first came into force on April 7, 2022 while former premier Jason Kenney was still in office and it also applies to MLAs as well as school trustees. 

“Elected officials have a responsibility to Albertans, and Albertans should be able to hold those officials accountable throughout their term, not just at the ballot box,” said Kenney at the time. 

“Albertans have told government for years that they want a greater say in the democratic process, and this legislation will help give them that voice.”