Even after it was amended, the proposed Bill 20 still has plenty of issues in the eyes of Okotoks Mayor Tanya Thorn.

At Monday's meeting, Okotoks Town Council received a response to a letter they'd sent to Municipal Affairs Minister Ric McIver in May. The letter voiced numerous concerns over the bill (officially named the Municipal Affairs Statutes Amendment Act.)

McIver's response highlighted two amendments made in May and provided further reasoning behind many of the changes the bill proposes.

Speaking at the meeting, Mayor Thorn made it clear she didn't think the amendments moved the needle very much, if at all.

"There was only two items that were amended, which is substantially short of the things that should have been removed and/or amended, and the amendments that were made still does not eliminate the ability for cabinet to decide behind closed doors on the removal of an elected official, then it takes and potentially puts cost on the municipality to, one, run a referendum to determine if the community agrees with their decision, and then if the community did agree, to run a by election again, which also still doesn't prevent that same elected official from running again and potentially being re-elected."

Legislative Policy Services Manager Kathy Duplessis provided a cost estimate at the mayor's request.

"If we had to run a full election, which would be similar to what a referendum would be, it would be a full vote with ballots and all of those types of things, it costs us about $60,000 to run that type of process to hire staff, and ballots and count and all those kinds of things."

For a time estimate on a recall petition, Duplessis cited the Tony Homes petition of 2019, where she worked with another town employee for three weeks straight to tabulate signatures, including evenings and weekends.

Thorn reiterated that the issues she has with the bill are foundational.

"As I've said many times, it's circumventing democracy," she said. "The reason we have an election is to be elected by our local population. This is allowing a decision behind closed doors on factors that have yet to be disclosed... This was an amendment to accomplish nothing, there was no amendment here. There was a change in language, it still has the same principles."