Alberta’s Approach to Local Governance in Oil and Gas Development


  • Nickie Vlavianos
  • Chidinma Thompson



This article reviews the legal role of Alberta municipalities in the regulatory regime that governs all stages of oil and gas development within the province. Specifically, it seeks to address how municipalities are involved in the decision-making processes preceding oil and gas development approval; how their views and concerns are addressed; and what steps they are able to take in an effort to regulate and manage development within their borders. It highlights the fact that Alberta’s approach to governance in oil and gas development is one that, as a matter of law and policy, grants municipalities a limited role. Nonetheless, it argues that avenues exist that municipalities can, and have, pursued in an effort to adequately address local impacts and concerns surrounding development.

Author Biographies

Nickie Vlavianos

Assistant Professor, Faculty of Law, University of Calgary; Research Associate, Canadian Institute of Resources Law, University of Calgary

Chidinma Thompson

LL.B, LL.M, Ph.D. Candidate, Faculty of Law, University of Calgary