The district of Alberta was created as part of the North-West Territories in 1882. As settlement increased, local representatives to the North-West Legislative Assembly were added. After a long campaign for autonomy, in 1905 the district of Alberta was enlarged and given provincial status, however remaining under the North-West Territories ordinance.
In 1912, the Rural Municipality Act was put in place for towns, villages, rural municipal districts, and improvement districts. The most notable change was the extension of self-government to rural areas. The small improvement districts were dissolved and 55 rural municipalities, each containing nine townships, were created. The Rural Municipality Act stated that 50 per cent of the taxes raised in each township were to be spent on road improvements and the remainder could be spent at Council’s discretion. Other changes included electing councillors at large rather than by ward, and taxing according to the cash value of the land without improvements, rather than by acre.
In 1918, the Rural Municipality Act was renamed the Municipal Districts Act, changing the name of rural municipalities to rural districts. This continued until the 1940s when the provincial government restructured the entire system. The 1930s had been a tough time, taxes were hard to collect and road construction had been halted. The reorganization of the new municipal districts was done to create a more stable fiscal base, allowing services and road construction to begin again.
In the early 1950s, the provincial government had to correct the problem of overlapping jurisdictions between the municipal districts and school districts. Municipal boundaries were redrawn to include school districts. The existing local municipalities were dissolved in 1955 and amalgamated into the Municipal District of Calgary No. 44. The first meeting of the Municipal District of Calgary was held March 15, 1955. The eight Councillors were Osia Rosenberger, Alois Reumiller, Janus Wray, L.H. Bittle, James Robinson, Robin Echlin, Amos Joyce, and J. Lewis Bull as Reeve.
The name “Municipal District of Calgary No. 44” was unpopular and in December 1955, a contest was held among school children to rename the municipality. The winner, Mr. Leslie Burwash of Balzac, won $25 for his submission “Rocky View.” On January 1, 1956, the name “Municipal District of Rocky View No. 44” became official.
On July 7, 2009, the Municipal District of Rocky View No. 44 officially changed the name to Rocky View County. A new corporate logo and brand were launched in December of the same year.
- Read, Tracey: Acres and Empires - A History of the Municipal District of Rocky View, Tall-Taylor Publishing Ltd., Irricana, AB.
- Alberta Municipal Affairs, About Municipalities