SACPA was founded in 1968. It is an independent forum, meeting some 35 weeks a year to debate local, provincial, national, and international issues of concern to the residents of Southern Alberta.
The rationale of the Council is that the strength of a political democracy is lodged in the freedom of citizens to assemble and freely discuss ideas and issues. SACPA seeks to promote a sense of community and citizenship amongst the public. It is strictly non-partisan in its political outlook and encourages the expression of divergent viewpoints. SACPA does not take sides on the issues debated at its sessions. The opinions expressed by speakers are their own and are not necessarily shared by the Board of Directors.
Sessions are open to the public and the media.
A volunteer Board of Directors manage SACPA with the assistance of six Standing Committees. Some 35 volunteer moderators chair the debates.
SACPA is a not-for-profit registered society.
The Lethbridge Herald reports on many SACPA session and often interviews visiting speakers, as does Shaw TV, CTV and Global.