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Time constraints delay amendments to Alberta's controversial Bill 20

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Controversial legislation that originally aimed to give the Alberta government more power over municipalities but is expected to be scaled back did not pass through the legislature on Wednesday due to time constraints.

Bill 20 was introduced last month. It sought to give the province more powers, including the ability to repeal bylaws and remove city councillors from office.

The government was expected to table amendments to the bill around 5 p.m. on Wednesday, but because of debate on other bills, it simply ran out of time.

Ric McIver, Alberta's minister of municipal affairs, told CTV News Edmonton earlier on Wednesday that the amendment would include two changes.

Based on CTV News Edmonton conversations with municipal leaders who represent most urban and rural communities, expected changes will focus specifically on when or why a local bylaw or city councillor can be removed.

Municipal leaders have been calling for more specific language in the bill about when the province could change or repeal a bylaw, or remove a city councillor or even a mayor.

McIver said he met with local leaders to help shape the amendments, including during a phone call with Tyler Gandam, the president of Alberta Municipalities, just minutes before speaking to the media.

"The amendments are very much as a result of conversations with municipal leaders, so I'm hoping that they'll either be more unhappy or less unhappy," McIver told reporters on Wednesday at the legislature.

Bill 20 has been harshly criticized by local leaders since it was introduced about a month ago.

Edmonton city council unanimously passed a motion calling for the bill to be scrapped until further consultation was complete.

The president of the Rural Municipalities of Alberta has heavily criticized the bill, calling it the worst thing to happen to municipalities in nearly two decades.  

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