Municipal Sustainability Strategy

The Government of Alberta is committed to the enhanced long-term viability and accountability of municipalities and their communities.  As part of this commitment, Municipal Affairs, in consultation with rural and urban municipal associations, has developed the Municipal Sustainability Strategy (MSS) to improve the long-term viability for municipalities across the province.

The strategy is focused on strengthening the capacity of Alberta municipalities, and includes a self-assessment toolkit, a capacity building toolkit and a viability review process.

  • The 2010 Report of the Municipal Sustainability Strategy Working Group can be viewed here.

Self-Assessment Questionnaire

The self-assessment questionnaire PDF / MS Word is intended to provide local municipal councils and administrations with a tool to evaluate and understand their current situation, to identify areas of strength to continue building upon, and also to identify areas where improvement may be desirable or necessary.

The questionnaire provides linkages to capacity-building tools (below) relevant to each respective topic area, thereby offering easy access to meaningful opportunities to strengthen municipal performance where desired or necessary.

Information on interpreting the results of the questionnaire, and determining next steps, is included at the end of the questionnaire.

Alberta Municipal Affairs and your municipal association are available to provide assistance and additional information to support the completion and interpretation of the questionnaire.

Key Measures

The Minister of Municipal Affairs and the MSS Stakeholder Advisory Committee recently approved several revisions and additions to the key measures of municipal viability.  The table below details these changes, including two new measures.   The key measures are to be used as an initial screening tool to identify municipalities that may benefit from additional ministry support.

Capacity-Building Tools

Alberta Municipal Affairs, the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association, the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties, and other entities have a wide variety of capacity-building tools to support municipalities as they respond to the changing needs of the citizens and environment they serve. Links to these tools are provided on the Capacity-Building Tools document, and can also be accessed through the links provided in the self-assessment questionnaire.

Asset Management

Asset management processes allow municipalities to manage infrastructure in a planned and integrated manner to maximize value to the community. Identifying and pursuing opportunities to build municipal capacity and promote sustainability is consistent with the objectives of the Municipal Sustainability Strategy (MSS) and the mandate of the MSS Advisory Committee.

Viability Reviews

The viability review process is a key component of the Municipal Sustainability Strategy, and replaced the dissolution studies formerly used by the ministry. The viability review is the process for a municipality to determine its viability and, where necessary, to develop a plan that would lead the municipality to viability.

The viability review process will provide better information to the public and to municipal leaders in a more timely and inclusive way. The process will also bring key decision makes together, and will empower communities to make sound decisions about their future that are based on collaboration, cooperation and a vision of success.

For more information on the viability review process and information on current viability reviews, please go to: Viability Reviews.

Contact Us

For further information on the Municipal Sustainability Strategy, including the Self-Assessment Toolkit, the Capacity Building Toolkit, and the Viability Review, please contact the Municipal Services Branch by email at or toll-free at 310-0000, and then dial 780-427-2225.

  • Date modified: 2017-02-15