Apegga1c.gif (2007 bytes) The PEGG
February, 1999
Page 4 Municipal Licence Exemption Provided
by Legislation

Amendments to the Engineering, Geological and Geophysical Professions (EGGP) Act will prevent municipalities from requiring APEGGA's professional members or members-in-training to obtain a municipal business licence to practice engineering, geology or geophysics within a municipality.

This rectifies a situation which arose because of amendments passed to the Municipal Government Act in 1995.   The amendments inadvertently eliminated an earlier exemption architects, land surveyors, engineers, geologists and geophysicists enjoyed in not needing a municipal business licence.  The changes to the Municipal Government Act were enacted without consultation with the professions affected.

When some municipalities, notably Banff and Canmore, availed themselves of the amended Municipal Government Act and imposed such licences, non-resident companies, including engineering firms, faced a potential levy of $2,200 a year.  This, in turn, could have added $8,000 to the cost of a small building if several non-resident firms (engineers, architects, land surveyors) were involved.

The professional associations affected, including APEGGA, in making representations to the Alberta government, noted this and the fact that the levies seemed to discriminate in favour of local businesses and against non-resident firms.  It was also noted that several other professions, such as lawyers, doctors, pharmacists and chartered accountants, were exempted from such municipal fees.

In accepting the representations made by APEGGA, the Alberta Association of Architects and the Alberta Land Surveyors Association, the Legislature approved a series of amendments to various acts government professional and occupational associations.   The Engineering, Geological and Geophysical Professions Act was amended as follows:

"No municipality has the power to require:

a)  any professional member, licensee, permit holder or certificate holder to obtain a license from the municipality to engage in the practice of engineering, the practice of geology or the practice of geophysics, or

b) any member-in-training to obtain a license from the municipality for or in connection with the performance of any acts or services authorized by this Act to be performed by a member-in-training."

APEGGA Executive Director Neil Windsor, P.Eng., said: "these provisions, which take effect March 1, 1999,  should clear up uncertainties concerning business licenses which resulted from the 1995 amendments to the Municipal Government Act."   However, he noted, "this does not relieve engineering, geology or geophysics companies from taxation of a general nature applied to firms established in the municipality."



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