MUNICIPAL DISTRICTS
  Definition
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  According to Section 78 of the MGA, a Municipal District (also known as a County) is an area that has a population of 1,000 or more persons and has the majority of its buildings on parcels of lands larger than 1,850 m˛. See Alberta’s Ministry of Municipal Affairs website for a further description of a Municipal District.

  Quick facts
  There are currently 64 Municipal Districts in Alberta. Of the 64 Municipal Districts, 42 of them use the term County as opposed to Municipal District (M.D.) within its official municipal title.

The M.D. of Acadia No. 34, the M.D. of Ranchland No. 66, and the M.D. of Spirit River No. 133 are the only three municipalities that do not meet the modern population requirement of 1,000 persons to form a Municipal District as per the MGA.

According to current population figures, Special Areas No. 2, 3, and 4 are the only other Rural Municipalities that are eligible for Municipal District status.

IMPROVEMENT DISTRICTS
  Definition
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  According to Part 15, Section 581 of the MGA, a Improvement District may be formed by order of the Lieutenant Governor in Council on the recommendation of the Minister of Municipal Affairs. See Alberta’s Ministry of Municipal Affairs website for a further description of an Improvement District.

  Quick facts
  There are currently seven Improvement Districts in Alberta, which respect the boundaries of Alberta’s five National Parks, Willmore Wilderness Park north of Jasper National Park, and Kananaskis Country southeast of Banff National Park.

Alberta had dozens of Improvement Districts over the past century that are no longer recognized due to amalgamation, annexation, or incorporation to a different Rural Municipality status.

SPECIAL AREAS
  Definition
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  Special Areas No. 2, 3, and 4 were incorporated in 1938 through the Special Areas Act, which was enacted to address the hardship brought upon areas in southeastern Alberta by the extreme drought in the 1930’s. See Alberta’s Ministry of Municipal Affairs website for a further description of Special Areas.

  Quick facts
  The Special Areas Board is the administrator responsible for Alberta’s three Special Areas.

According to current population figures, Special Areas No. 2, 3, and 4 are all eligible for Municipal District status.


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