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Cemetery Bylaw Update- Public Engagement 2

Our current Cemetery Bylaw

The City of Lethbridge provides the regulations of the Public Cemeteries under Cemetery Bylaw # 5004 (1998), amended February 4, 2019 for the 2019-2022 Cemetery Fees and Charges as approved in the 2019-2022 Budget.

Why are we reviewing the bylaw?

With the growth of City Cemeteries into 4 sites, the Cemetery Master Plan (2011) identified the cemeteries as a cemetery system rather than a collection of individual cemeteries.

The following Cemeteries will be affected under the new proposed bylaw:

  • Archmount Cemetery
  • Mountain View Cemetery
  • Royal View Memorial Cemetery
  • St. Patrick's Cemetery 

The current bylaw is based on an operations model rather than a governance model. This means much of the day-to-day operations of cemeteries are regulated by the bylaw rather than the high level decisions on the direction of City cemeteries. A switch to a governance model would allow cemeteries to respond and operate in a more efficient matter and to provide better customer/public service.  

Changes based on public engagement

In March 2019, we received community feedback on the first draft of the new proposed Cemetery Bylaw. This input has led us back to revisiting a previously explored option.

In the initial draft, we chose to keep the proposed Cemetery Bylaw as a separate document. We had followed the Parks Bylaw as a template and followed most, if not all, of their rules to keep a City-wide consistency. In the initial public engagement, the question was raised as to why the Parks Bylaw couldn't be used, similar to what other municipalities are doing. If the new Cemetery Bylaw was the same as the Parks Bylaw, then perhaps this was just duplication. This option seemed like a simpler solution from a public perspective and has been proven to work will in communities with large cemetery operations like Calgary and Edmonton.

The newly proposed option is to amend the Parks Bylaw to include cemeteries as most consider cemeteries to be "specialized" parks.  

Will the same rules apply as before?

With the newly proposed amended Parks Bylaw, the operations related rules and procedures for cemeteries will be moved to a Cemetery Regulations document.

The same rules and concepts apply for the cemeteries as before but with clarifications and easily understood language.

Similar to Parks, cemeteries will continue to follow the permitting system, working with families and the community to provide the best possible service for their cemetery and interment needs.

Will this impact stakeholders/community?

Cemetery stakeholders and the community should not see any changes with the implementation of the newly proposed Parks Bylaw and Cemetery Regulations. Any specifics/differences will be outlined in the Cemetery Regulations and the process for resolving issues will be clearer. The opertions of cemeteries will be managed by City Manager and any issues arising from the Cemetery Regulations will ultimately be a decision of City Council.

Next steps

Cemetery Services is currently gathering feedback from stakeholders on the newly amended Parks Bylaw and anticipate completing this work by the end of March 2020. After this feedback has been considered and any further revisions incorporated, it will go forward to City Council for approval. It is estimated that this will happen in the spring of 2020.

  Click to View Parks Bylaw: Parks Bylaw.pdf

  Click to View Parks Amending Bylaw: Parks Amending Bylaw.pdf

  Click to View Draft of Regulations: City of Lethbridge Cemetery Regulations.pdf